Khabib: I Want to “Break Ferguson’s Face”

Khabib Nurmagomedov has dominated MMA headlines lately, at least in regards to his next fight. With rumors of multiple matchups swirling, Nurmagomedov’s focus has remained steadfast on one man: fellow top contender Tony Ferguson.

If negotiations go smoothly, that will be the fight he gets.

Nurmagomedov spoke to RT Sport this week and confirmed that the UFC has been trying to make a fight between he and Ferguson for the interim lightweight title at UFC 209 in March.

“The UFC asked me about this fight — March 4, UFC 209 — and I said yes, I want to fight this, I want to take this fight. I want to fight with Tony and we — everybody, my team — are waiting for his answer.”

The holdup seems to be that Tony Ferguson and the UFC are at odds concerning Ferguson’s contract, as the #2 lightweight contender has publicly stated on Twitter that he is asking for more money.

As a result, potentially, of Ferguson’s requests, the UFC reportedly offered the interim lightweight title fight to featherweight champion Jose Aldo — but Khabib was uninterested in that fight. He knows that Ferguson is the challenge he needs to overcome to cement himself as the unquestionable top lightweight challenger, and he’s sticking to that.

“I think this is a real high-level fight in the lightweight division right now,” Nurmagomedov said. “Nine-win streak in UFC versus eight-win streak, I think UFC before never made this kind of fight because nine win streak versus eight-win streak, this has never happened before. I think this is a very big fight. Everybody wants to watch this fight and I want to take this fight.”

Though Ferguson offered Nurmagomedov a slight nod of respect due to his holding out for that fight, the two have still engaged in social media squabbles for the better part of two years. They had been scheduled to fight multiple times — in December of 2015, Nurmagomedov pulled out of a fight against Ferguson with a rib injury; in April of this year Ferguson came down with an illness and had to withdraw. Nurmagomedov hopes that he and Ferguson can finally share the cage in March, and he looks forward to silencing his long-time nemesis.

“I think he’s a tough fight, good fighter. Little bit talk too much, that’s why I want to break his face. I like this fight.”

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