Former interim lightweight champion Tony Ferguson took to social media and sent a clear-cut message to his long-time rival. ‘El Cucuy’ let it be known that he intends to match-up against Khabib Nurmagomedov despite the fact that he’s retired. The 29-0 fighter decided to walk away from the sport following the events that unfolded at UFC 254 in Abu Dhabi.
Khabib Nurmagomedov choked the consciousness out of Justin Gaethje in the second round of their contest. The win tied him for the most title defenses in lightweight history at three, and he improved to an unprecedented 29-0 record. What’s more, ‘The Eagle’ also became the first champion to defend his belt with three straight submission wins. The feat is magnified when looking at the fighters he’s faced as of late.
Tony Ferguson vs Khabib Nurmagomedov: Settling the score
The aforementioned lightweights were for a long-time considered to be the first and second-best 155-pound fighters, depending on who you asked. A scrap between them was on the cards for a long time. Whether it be botched weight cuts, health scares, or the fact that Tony tripped over cables and was injured, fans never got to witness this showdown.
The two were to face each other once more at UFC 249; however, the pandemic ensured that ‘The Eagle’ couldn’t travel and make the fight. Justin Gaethje stepped in and an interim bout was booked. ‘The Highlight’ ended up finishing Tony on the feet, thus closing the chapter on a Tony vs Khabib bout.
Additionally, Khabib Nurmagomedov’s retirement following UFC 254 is yet another nail in the coffin. Fight fans are certainly not optimistic that the aforementioned clash will ever come to fruition. However, Tony Ferguson is still holding out. There is no doubt that the fight would make sense for Khabib’s thirtieth professional fight.
The two elite lightweights have been in each other’s crosshairs and there is still interest in the fight. For the time being, it appears Tony Ferguson may have to redirect his focus to former Bellator champion Michael Chandler. A massive win will ensure that ‘El Cucuy’ is back in the title conversation as his resume demands it.