Could the sixth attempt at booking two of the top UFC lightweights be the charm? UFC president Dana White is open to the idea – as much as it scares him.
“If Khabib does beat (Justin) Gaethje, you get Tony Ferguson another fight, which we’re working on right now,” White recently told Sports Illustrated. “And hopefully that fight with Khabib happens because I know people want to see it.”
The five previous bookings between UFC lightweight champion Nurmagomedov (28-0 MMA, 12-0 UFC) and Ferguson (25-4 MMA, 15-2 UFC) fell through for a variety of reasons – from a global pandemic to a weight cut gone awry to Ferguson tripping on a wire that led to major knee surgery.
White joked that if he books the fight again, something even more catastrophic might take place – like an asteroid.
“I don’t think I’ve ever seen a fight fall apart as many times as those two,” White said. “It almost scares me to make the fight again. What’s going to happen? An asteroid comes to earth? That’s the level of bad this thing is.”
While Ferguson doesn’t currently have a fight on the books, Nurmagomedov is set to unify the 155-pound crown against interim champ Gaethje (22-2 MMA, 5-2 UFC) on Oct. 24 at UFC 254. Ferguson was briefly tied to a fight against Dustin Poirier on the same card. However, Poirier (26-6 MMA, 18-5 UFC) and the promotion could not come to terms and the booking never materialized.