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07th Mar 2017

Tony Ferguson willing to rebook Khabib Nurmagomodov, but he has a few conditions

Reasonable, but probably unrealistic

Ben Kiely

It’s not difficult to comprehend why Tony Ferguson would be reluctant to book anoter fight against Khabib Nurmagomedov.

UFC 209 marked the third time the two elite lightweights were matched up with each other, only for the fight to be scrapped entirely.

The first time they were scheduled to duke it out in December 2015, Khabib pulled out with a rib injury. When they were set to headline UFC on Fox 19, it was ‘El Cucuy’ who withdrew after doctors confirmed he had fluid and blood in his lung.

When the interim lightweight strap was put on the line, it seemed like we were finally going to see this fantasy match-up, but at the final hurdle, the day of the weigh-ins, Nurmagomedov was hospitalised due to ‘weight management medical issues’ and the fight was off.

Ferguson did his job, came in on weight, received his $250,000  show money, but all those months of training and preparation didn’t have the pay-off a fight at the end.

The whole situation has left the division in an even more weird position than before. With the immediate future of champion Conor McGregor still up in the air as he seeks out a mega-fight against Floyd Mayweather, there’s only so many fights you could give Ferguson next.

As he told, he’d be willing to rebook the Nurmagomedov fight for a fourth time, but only if the terms were fair. To him, that means more compensation if the Dagestani failed to make weight again.

“I feel I should get my show money, It is what it is. It stinks. But I think I should get my show money, so we can move forward and let’s give the crowd what they want. This is a badass fight. I’m willing to go, but it has to be fair terms. If I choose to fight Khabib again, we have to have assurances.”

“The terms have got to be fair, with assurances that if he doesn’t make weight, that’s my belt. And my show money, and my win money.”

They’re not hugely unreasonable demands, but the odds of the UFC meeting all of them are pretty slim.