MMA coach John Kavanagh gave some advice to top lightweight contender Tony Ferguson, who is currently awaiting a new opponent for UFC 249.
Ferguson was set to fight Khabib Nurmagomedov for the UFC lightweight title in the main event of UFC 249, but Nurmagomedov will no longer be able to compete at the event due to the coronavirus pandemic and travel restrictions in Russia and the U.S. That leaves Ferguson without an opponent, though the UFC has reportedly offered him a short-notice fight against Justin Gaethje to save the card.
Speaking to ESPN’s Ariel Helwani, Kavanagh — the coach for UFC superstar Conor McGregor — was asked what he believes Ferguson should do given the circumstances. Here’s what Kavanagh offered as advice.
— Jed I. Goodman (@jedigoodman) April 3, 2020
“I think the answer to that would come down to finances a little bit,” Kavanagh said. “I would like to think that Tony doesn’t have to fight to feed himself for the next six months. You always want to think that about such a long-time professional like this, but I don’t know, I don’t know his financial situation. But I would say that if I was his friend or whatever, that would be the only reason I would encourage him to do it. If he was saying, ‘Hey bro I need to pay rent, I need to eat, maybe this fight is not ’til the end o the year,’ then I would say, ‘Yeah, of course, it’s your job at the end of the day. There are front line workers doing a lot more dangerous stuff than MMA fighters are doing. So hey, it’s your job, go ahead and do your job.”
“But I don’t see why (the UFC) doesn’t say, ‘Let’s take April, May, and June, that’s a three month period, and we’re just going to say say that didn’t happen.’ So April 18 becomes July 18. In a weird way, you press pause on the world for three months,” Kavanagh said.
It sounds like Kavanagh is advocating for the UFC to push back any of its current events by three months. That’s not the ideal situation, but considering the current state of the world, it might be the only thing that makes sense at this point, even if it hurts Ferguson’s wallet in the short term.
What do you think about the advice John Kavanagh gave to Tony Ferguson?
This article first appeared on BJPENN.com on 4/3/2020.