Tony Ferguson and Khabib Nurmagomedov have been booked to fight each other for the fifth time.
On April 18, 2020, in Brooklyn, New York, Nurmagomedov will defend his lightweight strap against Ferguson. However, getting to that point has been tough. The Dagestani champ said it was done and Ali Abdelaziz had tweeted out that Khabib had signed the contract. But, Ferguson did not and he needed to meet with the UFC to discuss which he says was unpleasant.
“The manner that they did it really wasn’t the way I wanted to go, so it made the week kind of unpleasant,” Ferguson said on Ariel Helwani’s MMA Show. (via MMA Junkie). “It puts my fans through the freakin’ ringer, but they kept it lighthearted for me. It was about as smooth as a bumpy road, but we got to our destination, which was cool.”
“The process wasn’t the way I envisioned it going,” Ferguson added. “That’s why I wanted to sit down with the UFC. It’s about time we actually started having conversations and me being a little more personable with the company. It went good. I can’t say that it went bad. It just took time and was a process. I’m just lucky I had my agents there who have my back, so it’s cool to have that.”
In the end, the deal got done and Tony Ferguson finally gets the title shot he deserves. He is riding an insane 12-fight winning streak and is the former interim lightweight champion after submitting Kevin Lee to win it. He also has TKO win over Anthony Pettis and Donald Cerrone in his two most recent fights.
Khabib Nurmagomedov, meanwhile, is coming off of a submission win over Dustin Poirier and before that, submitted Conor McGregor to defend the lightweight title for the first time.