A Nurmagomedov-Ferguson bout has been planned four times in recent months, with the schedule having gone askew each time since “El Cucuy” sustained a knee injury, ONA reports citing Sputniknews.
While Khabib Nurmagomedov is nearly half-way through his nine-month suspension, the UFC chose to go ahead with an interim title fight, announcing a bout between UFC featherweight champion Max Holloway and Dustin Poirer in Atlanta, slated for 13 April.
UFC President Dana White told ESPN.com that Tony Ferguson had been offered to fight Holloway for the interim belt, but he declined. Nurmagomedov has since taken to Instagram to comment on Ferguson’s decision:
“Tony, you had your chance, and you missed it, and that’s your fault only”, Nurmagomedov wrote, and went on: “You know that I’m disqualified and can’t fight, but it’s not fair to strip me of the title. … As a fighter you deserve a title fight, you are (a) great fighter and opponent, but now you have to fight or wait for my DQ to be over and fight”.
“But UFC doesn’t want it”, Khabib added in parenthesis.
A few days earlier, Ferguson tweeted that he had been offered a fight with Holloway, but expressed uncertainty over it “meeting our standards”. Meanwhile, Holloway in his turn mocked the said possibility in a bizarre tweet last week, referring to Ferguson as “the type of guy to copy my back tattoo then tell me I’ve just been blessed”.