Khabib Nurmagomedov sends message to Tony Ferguson, ‘You had your chance’

Khabib Nurmagomedov, Tony Ferguson

It was recently announced that UFC 236’s featured attraction will be an interim lightweight title fight… But it won’t include the 11-fight win streak holding Tony Ferguson.

Instead, it will be Dustin Poirier rematching the current featherweight champion Max Holloway for the gold.

UFC President Dana White would reveal shortly after the news broke that Ferguson had turned down the bout opposite Holloway. Thus leading to Ferguson explaining his decision by saying the following.

“We Took Some Unneeded Damage This Past Year. Recovery From The Knee Surgery & Battling Through Adversity Really Put A Damper On The Overall Mood These Last Few Months. We’re Working Harder To Be Better Than Yesterday Crew- I Make Lots Of Mistakes, Nobody’s Perfect 👏 Have A Great Weekend, Be Safe & Stay Warm We Got Work To Do 🇺🇸🏆🇲🇽” Ferguson tweeted on Friday.

For Ferguson, he has already been an interim champion once and lost the title after his freak injury in April 2018. A result that is believed to have also played a part in his decision.

In April when that injury was suffered, Ferguson was supposed to be taking on Khabib Nurmagomedov to decide the new undisputed champion. It was their fourth time being matched to face one another.

The currently suspended champion Nurmagomedov shared his thoughts Saturday on the interim title fight that will take place in his absence.

“I want to remind you guys, that before I become champion, I was close to the title fight 3 times and all 3 times I missed my opportunity. First was in July 2016 when I was offered to fight in Ramadan month and I turned it down, second was UFC 205 NYC when I was offered a title fight, bout agreement signed, but my title was given away, you know the story.
Third time was UFC 209 where I was hospitalized and almost died.
But after every single fail I were said: you missed your chance, earn your shot with one more victory.Tony  you had your chance and you missed it, and that’s your fault only. You know that I’m disqualified and can’t fight, but it’s not fair to strip me off the title, I fought 3 times in 9 months. I won and defended my belt. As a fighter you deserve a title fight, you are great fighter and opponent, but now you have to fight or wait for my DQ to be over and fight(but UFC doesn’t want it). I don’t understand your offenses, if you fell down, you got to get up, not complain.” Nurmagomedov said on Instagram.

Nurmagomedov can return as early as April 2019 if he does an anti-bullying campaign for the Nevada Athletic Commission who suspended him for the post-fight brawl at UFC 229.

However, the champion has already said he won’t be doing that and doesn’t plan to return until his teammates Zubaira Tukhugov and Abubakar Nurmagomedov’s one-year suspension are up as well. Meaning he wouldn’t be fighting until October at the earliest.

This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 2/23/2019

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