Nurmagomedov and Ferguson may not be as heated rivals as Khabib and Conor McGregor but that doesn’t mean there’s a lack of intensity. During the first UFC 249 presser, Nurmagomedov and Ferguson traded barbs and had quite the staredown. Nurmagomedov even kicked Ferguson’s old interim title.
Khabib Talks Heated UFC 249 Press Conference
ESPN’s Brett Okamoto caught up with Nurmagomedov right after the presser. The UFC lightweight champion explained what set him off (h/t BJPenn.com).
“Honestly, when I go to the press conference I think I want to be nice. You know I don’t want to go crazy. You know? But, when he talk about street fight, I go a little bit… A little bit crazy, yes.” Khabib Nurmagomedov explained. “Because this guy never fight in street. What are you talking about? Who? You know, I have a lot of fight in street. This guy never fight. Because in America, you cannot fight in street. But I grew up in Dagestan, every day I fight in the street. You talk about street fight?”
Nurmagomedov vs. Ferguson is scheduled to take place on April 18. The lightweight title bout will serve as the UFC 249 main event. Playing host will be the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, NY. The last time these two were booked for a bout in that arena, Ferguson suffered an injury just ahead of fight week.
If all goes according to plan, then this will be the third time Nurmagomedov puts his 155-pound gold on the line. He’s had successful title defenses against Conor McGregor and Dustin Poirier. Both bouts ended in a submission victory for “The Eagle.”
Since returning from the injury, Ferguson has defeated Anthony Pettis and Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone. Both bouts resulted in a TKO win for “El Cucuy.” He hopes to be the first man to dethrone Nurmagomedov, which would nab him undisputed UFC gold for the first time and extend his winning streak to 13.