Tony Ferguson went out and scored a very impressive and memorable win over Edson Barboza at UFC 194, but that doesn’t mean the man who was originally scheduled to face him isn’t down for a fight.
Ferguson was initially scheduled to fight fellow contender Khabib Nurmagomedov this past weekend, but a rib injury forced the undefeated fighter to withdraw. Since the injury was the latest in a series of setbacks for Nurmagomedov, the galaxy class grappler briefly thought about hanging up the gloves. Thankfully, the lightweight decided against the move.
Recently Nurmagomedov appeared on “The MMA Hour”, and while discussing his next bout, he stated (quote via MMA Mania):
“If Rafael dos Anjos wins and says he wants to fight me, I can give him rematch no problem. But, I think first of all, I need to stay healthy and I think next year, March is a perfect date. I need to fight someone in March then come back and fight for the title at UFC 200. As for my opponent, if I don’t fight for the title, I think whoever win fight Pettis or Alvarez or maybe Tony Ferguson. If they don’t give him title fight, I think we need to fight for No. 1 contender. Feguson have seven win streak and he deserves a title shot or a fight with me. I watch his fight, congratulations Tony. He did a very good job because Edson Barboza is no easy fight. He eat a lot of kicks and punch but he kept going and finish the guy.”
Any of those bouts would be intriguing, but chances are Nurmagomedov won’t be tapped to fight RDA, if the champ defeats Donald Cerrone next weekend. Since dos Anjos was decisioned by Nurmagomedov in April, 2014, he’s said he wants another crack at the latter. But, due to how much time Nurmagomedov has missed, he’ll likely be tapped to fight a contender like Ferguson or Pettis.
Pettis scheduled to fight Eddie Alvarez on January 17th.