Khabib Nurmagomedov's manager issues ultimatum, hastily deletes tweet
The Nurmagomedov camp are getting restless.
It is now less than nine weeks to UFC 209, on March 4. Khabib Nurmagomedov is expecting a co main event fight at the pay-per-view event and knows who he wants.
He can't get his hands on UFC lightweight champion Conor McGregor so he wants the division's next highest ranked - Tony Ferguson.
'El Cucuy' wants the fight too and is confident he will get it, despite UFC president Dana White insisting it will not happen if Ferguson continues to hold out for more than is in his current contract with the promotion.
The latest we had on Nurmagomedov-Ferguson was the Dagestani fighter offering to pay the American $200,000 of his own money just to get a bout agreement signed off. On Monday's MMA Hour, Ferguson replied:
"I'm not going to take his money because we work for the same kind of thing. I would offer the same thing, but that’s not what I’m in here for. Honestly, we’re both two of the same kind of fighters because we fight for something different."
Ferguson is holding firm and is pointing to the fact that other fighters have got more than their contracted deals for taking big fights - Nate Diaz' $2m to fight Conor McGregor at UFC 202 being an obvious example.
The stand-off is obviously grating Ali Abdel-Aziz, manager to Nurmagomedov. On Wednesday night, he tweeted an ultimatum to Ferguson that was deleted within 20 minutes of it being posted. MMA Junkie managed to get a look at the tweet, which read:
'You have 6 days to make a deal with the UFC; if you don’t make a deal I’m going to find someone else to fight @danawhite'
Message deleted but received loud and clear nonetheless. Ferguson has until Monday before Nurmagomedov's manager goes back to the UFC and takes the next best option.
Featherweight champion Jose Aldo has been mentioned as a lightweight option for 'The Eagle' while Nate Diaz' name has also cropped up.
Nurmagomedov-Ferguson is the obvious fight to make so one hopes both fighters can get a fair share and the UFC can make it happen.