Talking about Khabib Nurmagomedov and Tony Ferguson fighting almost brings up some post-traumatic canceled disorder symptoms. It seems like we’ve talked about the fight longer than the build-up to Conor McGregor and Floyd Mayweather. Their rivalry reached its peak for UFC 209 with an interim UFC lightweight title on the line. There was so much hype around the fight and it was billed as the best lightweight fight the UFC could have put on at the time. As we all know, Khabib had medical issues and had to pull-out of that fight. They were in talks to meet once again in the Octagon this year, but nothing ever materialized. Tony Ferguson recently expressed his frustrations on the latest episode of Submission Radio.
“It is what it is and it’s not funny anymore, it really isn’t. [Khabib Nurmagomedov] got a lot fans that are really disappointed in you and you’re… f-ck dude, you’re disappointing yourself. You’re letting me fight a number seven [ranked fighter]. You gotta’ be sitting on the sidelines hating your ass. You gotta’ be thinking, like, ‘sh-t, why the hell did I not sign on that dotted line? Why am I letting Ferguson fight Kevin Lee? Holy sh-t, Tony’s gonna’ get a belt and I’m not gonna get sh-t. I’m gonna be stuck here with that fake belt that I got when I f-ckin’ went to Russia and everyone gave one to me.’ That’s what he’s gonna’ be saying, enjoying his team tiramisu like at the end of dodge ball when you have Ben Stiller eating that f-cking ice cream f-ckin’ Chuck Norris.”
— Tony Ferguson (@TonyFergusonXT) August 18, 2017
“I was down to fight. I’m game to fight no matter when and where. Obviously I proved that in International Fight Week. I don’t need anybody holding my hand to get a fight, but Khabib, I’m trying to hold his f-cking hand and he has Ali Abdelaziz say, ‘no, it’s not true.’ We offered you the fight in October, we offered you the fight in November and damnit, I damn near offered you the fight in December, but sh-t, dude, you’d f-cking want to wait ’till 2018 if I would have said that sh-t. You’re not healthy. If you’re not healthy it’s just because you’re mentally not healthy. You’re weak-minded, son. You need to f-cking quit. Going up a weight class, you’re going to be eaten up. You’re credibility’s sh-t. So regardless of what Ali said and what anybody else says, that b-tch is trying to f-cking manipulate the system by managing all the top five. So, whatever he says, they aren’t getting no belt anytime soon because once I get done with Kevin Lee, they’re gonna have to deal with me.”
After both of these fighters haven’t been able to fight since all the way back in 2015, it’s understandable that Tony Ferguson’s frustration has nearly shifted to apathy. Khabib Nurmagomedov himself has moved on to try and fight Conor McGregor. As for Ferguson, he’s got Kevin Lee at UFC 216 to try and finally get that interim lightweight title before setting his eyes on the real thing.
This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 9/7/2017.