UFC “Not Very Confident”, Nurmagomedov / Ferguson Gets Booked in 2020 by Jason Paglia
Yesterday the morale of fight fans around the world took a gutshot. On Wednesday, during a “Ask Me Anything” session on Reddit, a UFC fan asked Dana White how confident he was that Khabib Nurmagomedov and Tony Ferguson would fight in 2020. Dana White’s response was somewhat surprising. He replied that he was “Not Very Confident” the fight would get booked in 2020.
White even went as far as to joke about what the ramifications would be if he tried to book the fight for a 6th time saying, “I’m afraid of what will happen next if we try to make that happen again.” That is crushing news for diehard fans of mixed martial arts. It’s undoubtedly the most anticipated fight in UFC lightweight history. Fans of the UFC assumed, if Tony Ferguson won the interim lightweight championship on May 9th when he fights Justin Gaethje, he would fight Nurmagomedov later in the year. That thought was given even more weight when Khabib Nurmagomedov went on record in an interview, saying he was eyeing a September return.
Welp, apparently Dana White must know something we don’t because according to his comments on Wednesday, a September fight between Khabib and Tony doesn’t look like it’s in the cards. All this hope is based on the assumption that Tony Ferguson will get past Justi Gaethje next week, which is FAR from a guarantee. Gaethje is a tough stepping stone for anyone, especially with the bricks that he walks around within his gloves. However it would be nice to know if Ferguson does make it past Gaethje, we will get the fight we have have been dreaming about for the last 5 years.
For those of you who don’t know how cursed this matchup has been, let’s take a stroll down memory lane…. Shall we?
AUGUST 21st, 2015 – The UFC confirms for the 1st time that a fight between two lightweight contenders will go down on December 11th, 2015 on The Ultimate Fighter Finale of season 22. Those two contenders were Tony Ferguson and Khabib Nurmagomedov.
OCTOBER 30th, 2015 – Khabib Nurmagomedov is forced to call off the fight when he is afflicted with a sudden rib injury during his training camp.
JANUARY 26th, 2016 – TAKE TWO. The UFC decides to try again and books Nurmagomedov / Ferguson for a 2nd time. The event would take place at a UFC on Fox in Tampa, Florida on April 16th.
APRIL 5th, 2016 – This time it’s Tony Ferguson that has to pull out of the fight when he is stricken with a lung issue.
JANUARY 12th, 2017 – The UFC decides to take another stab at it, announcing it had booked Nurmagomedov / Khabib as the co-main event of UFC 209 for the interim lightweight championship.
MARCH 3rd, 2017 – The 3rd failed attempt would be put to bed when Nurmagomedov is hospitalized before weigh-ins for UFC 209 due to a weight cutting issue
JANUARY 17th, 2018 – Dana White yet again announces that the UFC has booked Nurmagomedov / Ferguson. This time the promotions 4th attempt at making this fight happen. It would be glorious, and the main event of UFC 223.
APRIL 1st, 2018 – In some kind of sick and twisted April fools irony, the 4th attempt would not be the charm. Tony Ferguson blows out his knee in a training camp requiring knee surgery. The fight was off, and Ferguson would be on the shelf for a while.
NOVEMBER 25th, 2019 – White decides to try one more time and announces that Nurmagomedov / Ferguson will be the main event of UFC 249 in Brooklyn, NY on April 18th, 2020.
SOMETIME IN MARCH OF 2020 – THE ENTIRE WORLD SHITS THE BED. LITERALLY. A virus known as COVID-19 causes a global pandemic that shuts down the world at large, including the sports world. The 5th attempt to make this fight happen would be one of the many casualties of the Coronavirus, and now you are up to date.
We almost made it. We had the fight in our sights and once again it was taken from us. That makes the news that White made yesterday even harder to swallow. Even if Tony Ferguson wins the UFC interim lightweight chip, WE STILL WON’T SEE THE FIGHT IN 2020? C’mon Dana, you owe the mixed martial arts community more than that. Make the fight. Sooner rather than later. If this virus has shown us anything, it’s that the most important commodity we have on this earth is time. Time is running out in the careers of Tony Ferguson and Khabib Nurmagomedov. Do the right thing, and book the fight.