UFC news, rumors: Khabib Nurmagomedov calls out Tony Ferguson; PFL signs with ESPN
When UFC announced last week thaton April 13 in Atlanta for the interim lightweight title, naturally, many began to ask one question: What about Tony Ferguson? UFC president Dana White went on to reveal that Ferguson turned down the opportunity to face Holloway before the bout was accepted by Poirier, and he’s faced some criticism for that decision, with the latest coming from the reigning lightweight champion himself.
In an Instagram post over the weekend, Khabib Nurmagomedov blasted Ferguson over the decision to shoot down the opportunity at the interim 155-pound title, telling “El Cucuy” that he only has himself to blame.
“Tony, you had your chance and you missed it, and that’s your fault only,” Nurmagomedov wrote in the post. “You know that I’m disqualified and can’t fight, but it’s not fair to strip me off the title. I fought three times in nine 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.”
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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. #ufc #mma #ufclightweight
A post shared by Khabib Nurmagomedov (@khabib_nurmagomedov) on
Nurmagomedov and Ferguson have been scheduled to battle one another four different times in the past, with the fights ultimately falling through either because of injury or weight issues. The most recent matchup was slated to headline UFC 223 in April 2018, but leading up to the event, Ferguson suffered a freak knee injury while participating in the promotion for the fight. Instead, Nurmagomedov defeated Al Iaquinta to claim the then-vacant lightweight title in Brooklyn.
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More UFC news, rumors
- Bellator welterweight Dillon Danis has received his punishment for his role in the infamous post-main event melee that occurred at UFC 229 in October 2018. Monday, Danis received a retroactive seven-month suspension from the Nevada State Athletic Commission and was fined $7,500. Danis will be eligible to return to competition in May. Conor McGregor’s friend and training partner was seated cage side that evening, and he allegedly provoked Nurmagomeov to jump the cage following his win over McGregor with verbal taunting throughout the fight.
- ESPN has added to its MMA coverage in the form of the Professional Fighters League. The former World Series of Fighting promotion, which debuted its first season last year and crowned six new champions, signed a two-year deal with the network and will begin airing on May 9, the company announced on Ariel Helwani’s MMA Show.
- Without question, one of the best MMA highlights we’ll see all year took place over the weekend. At the Road FC 52 event in South Korea on Saturday, Michael Pereira had Dae Sung Kim down on the mat, and he then proceeded to scale the cage for a direct attack. That attempt was thwarted by Kim, so … what did Pereira do? Well, naturally, he circled around to scale the cage again, only this time doing his best WWE tryout impression by attempting a moonsault. And yes, Pereira did end up victorious in the bout.