Tony Ferguson believes Khabib Nurmagomedov should be stripped of his lightweight title after withdrawing from UFC 249.
On April 18, Ferguson and Nurmagomedov were expected to finally fight for the undisputed lightweight title in Brooklyn, New York. Yet, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Nurmagomedov is stuck in Russia and earlier today announced he would be off the card. For “El Cucuy” he believes that means the champ should be stripped of his belt.
“Obviously, I was very upset. I feel more for everybody else that’s actually going through some hard times. It’s a little bit different, of course, I’m a little bit pissed,” Ferguson said to ESPN. “He had the opportunity to stay here. He was in Abu Dhabi, he had his chance to be able to come back before the borders were closed in Russia. [He] decided to go back to Dagestan, did not finish his camp. The guy does not want to fight. He’s scared, he’s running. He should be stripped of his title.”
For Tony Ferguson, he believes Khabib Nurmagomedov bailed out on the fight and ran away from fighting him again.
“I’m more down to fight than anybody, any time, anywhere unless the circumstances are completely different. The fight’s against Khabib. This is the guy. Everybody just wants this fight. I get what he wanted to do,” Ferguson explained. “Obviously, he’s here, his family is back home in Dagestan, it is what you’ve got to do but he had the opportunity and he did the exact same thing at UFC 209.
“He knew that he wasn’t cutting weight very good. He said it already that he was having a hard time cutting weight, focusing and doing everything else like that. To me right there, he’s running away. He ran away,” he continued. “He obviously knew what he could do to help save this card, he didn’t want to take any of those chances. Everybody’s taking risks. He bailed out. It’s pretty hard to explain but he bailed out.”
Do you think the UFC should strip Khabib Nurmagomedov as Tony Ferguson suggests? Sound off in the comment section, PENN Nation!
This article first appeared on BJPENN.com on 4/1/2020.