Tony Ferguson has earned himself a fight with UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov. That much is undeniable.
Unfortunately for Ferguson, Nurmagomedov is currently tied up with a fight with Dustin Poirier, scheduled for UFC 242 on September 7 in Abu Dhabi.
Speaking to ESPN recently, Khabib Nurmagomedov discussed his rival Tony Ferguson, and suggested that he fight former World Series of Fighting champion Justin Gaethje rather than wait around for a title shot.
“Tony vs. Gaethje, this is interesting fight,” Nurmagomedov said (transcript via MMA News). “If he don’t want to wait to end of the year, why not? UFC can make Gaethje vs. Tony, co-main event in Abu Dhabi. It’s gonna be a good fight, good for pay per view, I think. It’s just my opinion. But if he want to wait, he deserves this.
“Co-main event, Justin vs. Tony, main event, me vs. Dustin, winner fights winner end of the year.”
Tony Ferguson is currently on a ridiculous, 12-fight win-streak highlighted by triumphs over top-flight foes like Edson Barboza, Raphael dos Anjos, Kevin Lee, Anthony Pettis, and most recently, Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone. After his win over Cerrone, he was actually called out by Gaethje.
That being said, he seems pretty set on a title fight with Khabib Nurmagomedov, or a lucrative money fight with former two-division champ Conor McGregor.
”It’s kinda funny, I don’t know what else I have to do in this division to keep … to keep after it,” he said after UFC 238. “It’s a round robin tournament, but I’m tired of it. I’m here to stay. I am the f**king champ. I don’t have to go on and refurbish a lot of that stuff. You guys know what I’m about. I’m about the business, you guys know I’m about learning and growing and … f**k, man. If Dustin Poirier doesn’t do it, I’m going to do it. ‘Tiramisu’ needs an ass whooping; he needs two to the stomach from me.”
“And if it’s ‘McNuggets’ for a money fight, literally?” Ferguson continued, referencing Conor McGregor. “He’s an athlete, too. I know the division misses him. I’m pretty sure he misses the fight game, too. We need to see these fighters keep coming out and represent the sport, because that’s why you got into it. You’re an athlete. Keep coming back and when it’s your turn to retire, go and f**king retire, man. But if you’ve made a name in this sport and you’re able and within the age limit, keep competing.”
Who do you want to see Tony Ferguson fight next? Do you like this suggestion from Khabib Nurmagomedov?
This article first appeared on BJPENN.COM on 6/16/2019.