Tony Ferguson Explains Delay in Signing Contract to Fight Khabib

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Khabib Nurmagomedov and Tony Ferguson are booked to fight one another for the fifth time, but the road to getting there was anything but smooth sailing.

The difficulty of Nurmagomedov and Ferguson’s making it to the Octagon has been painfully well-documented. But in this most recent attempt, the stumbled already began right out of the gate, according to former interim lightweight champion Tony Ferguson. (Transcript via MMA Junkie):

“The manner that they did it really wasn’t the way I wanted to go, so it made the week kind of unpleasant,” Ferguson told ESPN Monday.” “It puts my fans through the freakin’ ringer, but they kept it lighthearted for me. It was about as smooth as a bumpy road, but we got to our destination, which was cool.”

It was the communication issues that prompted the Ferguson camp to fly out to meet with the UFC brass to finalize the world title fight for April 18th.

“The process wasn’t the way I envisioned it going,” Ferguson said. “That’s why I wanted to sit down with the UFC. It’s about time we actually started having conversations and me being a little more personable with the company. It went good. I can’t say that it went bad. It just took time and was a process. I’m just lucky I had my agents there who have my back, so it’s cool to have that.”

One complaint that has already begun circulating about this dream fight is that after waiting all these years for Khabib Nurmagomedov and Tony Ferguson to square off, fans now have to wait until the spring of 2020 for the bout to finally happen. Ferguson shares that frustration but takes none of the blame. In fact, he is even able to find positives in the long delay:

“You’re going to have to ask the UFC (why the fight is in April),” Ferguson said. “Khabib is still on his world tour. He’s doing things, kissing babies and doing all that fun stuff. Who cares? You know who I am. You know I’m ready for February. I was ready to take another opponent if they were going to (expletive) pull some crazy stuff. But everything worked out. We’ve got until April. We’ve got plenty of time to train. We’ve got plenty of time to not get hurt, to be very smart and trust our teams and give the fans exactly what they (expletive) want.”

What are your thoughts on Tony Ferguson’s remarks about his contract negotiations with the UFC for his long-awaited showdown with Khabib Nurmagomedov?