What many MMA fans around the world would like for Christmas is a time machine to travel back in time to remove all the obstacles (such as an electrical cord) that prevented Khabib Nurmagodevov vs. Tony Ferguson from happening. Then again, there would be fans who were once a member of that population who’d want a gift exchange after seeing Charles Oliveira’s domination over Tony Ferguson at UFC 256. Dana White, often seen as the scrooge whenever fans requested the gift of Khabib vs. Ferguson, also came away disillusioned after witnessing Tony Ferguson’s performance against Oliveira, but he did admire Ferguson’s toughness.
“I thought we were going to see the old Tony,” White said at the UFC 256 post-fight press conference. “I thought that the last fight (against Justin Gaethje) he was affected by weight cutting. I mean 10 out of 10 people tap to that armbar. The fact that he even made it through the armbar is unbelievable.
“Just a testament to how tough and durable and crazy Tony Ferguson is.”
Dana White acknowledged the possibility that Tony Ferguson may be on a decline but believes that the 37-year-old Ferguson still has a minimum of a couple of fights left before thinking about making drastic career decisions such as retirement.
“I mean Tony’s a guy that’s got to go take some time. Figure out what he wants to do, what’s his game plan for 2021,” White said. “I think Tony’s still a couple fights away from making any crazy decisions like that.”
As for Khabib vs. Ferguson, Dana White believes that the ultimate “fight that got away” in MMA history never came to fruition not due to any fault of the UFC, but the stars just never aligned to allow it to ever see daylight.
“It just didn’t [happen],” White said when asked about the fight. “It wasn’t from lack of trying. We put that fight together five times. It just wasn’t meant to be. I don’t think about it at all.”
Do you think the UFC is at fault for Khabib/Ferguson never taking place?