UFC president Dana White says he’s not very confident Khabib Nurmagomedov and Tony Ferguson will fight this year.
Nurmagomedov was expected to battle Ferguson at UFC 249 on April 18 but due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the fight was canceled.
Now, on May 9, Ferguson will fight Justin Gaethje for the interim lightweight title. After that, the winner is expected to battle Nurmagomedov later this year. Yet, for White, he believes even if “El Cucuy” wins the chances are slim we will see Nurmagomedov vs. Ferguson in 2020.
“Not very,” White responded to a fan on his Reddit AMA asking if he’s confident we’ll see Khabib-Tony. “I’m afraid of what will happen next if we try to make that happen again.”
Nurmagomedov and Ferguson have been scheduled to compete against each other five times to no avail. Fluke injuries, to botched weight cuts and now a global pandemic, has caused the fight not to happen. So, White is skeptical we will ever see it.
Khabib Nurmagomedov is coming off a submission win over Dustin Poirer to defend his belt at UFC 242. Before that, he beat Conor McGregor in his first title defense after winning the vacant belt over Al Iaquinta. The Dagestani champion is undefeated in MMA and a perfect 12-0 inside the Octagon.
Tony Ferguson, meanwhile, is riding a 12-fight winning streak and coming off a TKO win over Donald Cerrone at UFC 238. Before that, he beat Anthony Pettis at UFC 229 in his return from injury. El Cucuy is also a former interim lightweight champ but was stripped of the belt after injuring his knee.
It shouldn’t be a surprise to see White reluctant that Khabib and Ferguson will fight. After the scrap fell off for the fourth time he said he would never book it again. So, after the fifth, perhaps he finally sticks to his word.
What do you make of Dana White saying he’s not very confident Khabib Nurmagomedov and Tony Ferguson will fight in 2020? Sound off in the comment section, PENN Nation!
This article first appeared on BJPENN.com on 4/29/2020.