Tony Ferguson now eyeing September return, feels Khabib Nurmagomedov has been exposed

Tony Ferguson

Tony Ferguson, who was forced out of UFC 223 with a leg injury in April, is now hoping to return to the cage as soon as September.

“I’m about 90 percent right now,” Ferguson told Helen Yee this week (transcribed by Jed Meshew for MMA Fighting). “Obviously, I want to get back in there. September looks good for me.”

When Ferguson does return, he’s hoping to fight undefeated UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov. Yet while this booking makes all the sense in the world from a competitive standpoint, the pair have been four times to no avail in the past, which recently drove UFC President Dana White to assure he’ll never attempt to make the fight again.

“Don’t know, haven’t heard shit,” Ferguson said about the UFC attempting another fight between him and Nurmagomedov. “What I know is I’ve been keeping my nose clean, making sure that my leg is healing right. As far as how the fights are gonna go, the fans want to see myself and Khabib. That’s what they really want to see. Conor [McGregor’s] got his shit going on – slap on the wrist, whatever, that’s not my business – so if the shit happens and they want to go with Khabib, let’s do this. Let’s have some fun with it.”

If Ferguson does fight Khabib, he feels he’s now a got a clear idea as to how to defeat him. He believes Nurmagomedov’s last opponent, Al Iaquinta, exposed the blueprint.

“I was not impressed by Khabib’s performance [against Iaquinta],” Ferguson said. “Obviously his conditioning was in check a little bit. Al Iaquinta, he did what he had to do and he was an Ultimate Fighter, he went all five rounds. It was exactly what I expected was gonna happen. [Khabib] got exposed, it’s what I knew.”

Although Tony Ferguson is hoping for a lightweight title shot in his return, that honor could well go to Conor McGregor instead. If Nurmagomedov and McGregor do fight, he’s hoping for a double KO.

“I hope they both get knocked out.”

Who do you want to see Tony Ferguson fight in his return to the cage?

This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 7/5/2018.