Islam Makhachev is hoping to fight Tony Ferguson next time out.
On the main card of UFC 259, Makhachev scored a third-round submission win over Drew Dober to extend his winning streak. It was another dominant performance from the Russian who cemented his case as a legit lightweight contender. After the fight, many wondered who would be next for him but for Makhachev he wants Tony Ferguson next to retire him.
“My dream fight is Tony because we have some deal with him, like a couple of years now,” Makhachev said at the UFC 259 post-fight press conference. “He’s still, like, pressuring Khabib. I don’t understand this guy, but I want to just help him retire. He is old. His mind is a little bit crazy. That’s why I just want to help him.”
Tony Ferguson, of course, is on a two-fight losing streak as he was dominated by both Justin Gaethje and Charles Oliveira in back-to-back fights. Many wondered if he would retire and for Islam Makhachev he hopes to send him into retirement.
Not only does Islam Makhachev want to retire Ferguson, but he wants to show the world how Khabib Nurmagomedov vs Tony Ferguson would’ve gone.
“I just want to show people how Khabib would take him down, make him tired, make him tap. Everybody talks like Tony is a hard fight for Khabib, but I never think like that because Khabib’s wrestling and grappling is a different level. Nobody has it like that,” Makhachev said.
It does make sense for the UFC to book Makhachev vs Ferguson next. It is a step down in competition for Ferguson to try and get back into the win column. For the Russian, it is a chance against a big-name opponent to become a household name and put the lightweight division on notice. Whether or not the fight will happen is uncertain.