During the height of both Nurmagomedov and Ferguson’s careers, the pair were scheduled to fight several times, each fight falling out due to an injury or other unforeseen circumstances.
Now, Nurmagomedov has since retired, and Ferguson, despite fighting on, is in the midst of a three-fight losing skid. This weekend, “El Cucuy” will return to take on Michael Chandler at the UFC 274 pay-per-view (PPV).
During a pre-fight press conference, Ferguson actually brought up his past fights with Nurmagomedov that fell through, claiming “The Eagle” is still scared to fight him.
“I had to stop thinking all about the bad shit, just kinda focus on what’s really important, which is just having fun. If I’m not having fun, I’m not gonna go out there and have a good time, which is — obviously, you guys saw that.
“And I’ve been in enough positions, bad positions, where I thought that Khabib would actually take a fight (against me). And the pussy’s still scared.”
Now, Ferguson will need to shift his attention to Chandler, already a former UFC lightweight title challenger and an ex-champion from Bellator. Chandler has lost back-to-back bouts since a successful UFC debut in January of 2021, knocking out Dan Hooker.
Despite the losses, however, Chandler has proven he comes into the cage to put on an absolute show, making his pairing with Ferguson all the more exciting. And according to Ferguson, he’s just as excited himself.
“With Chandler, I wanted this opportunity for a long time. I feel like he cut in line. It’s not his fault. That’s always on Dana.
“But there’s only so many times where you can fight for the interim belt as well. But I had to put all that beside me and be able to get back to my roots, which is having fun, smiling, and being able to enjoy this kinda stuff again.”
What do you make of Tony Ferguson and his comments about Khabib? And who are you picking in Chandler vs. Ferguson? Let us know in the comments!