UFC – Charles Oliveira: Khabib vs Tony Ferguson Will Never Happen
Bigfoot, fairies, and unicorns. And if you think like Charles Oliveira, you can go ahead and add ‘Khabib Nurmagomedov vs Tony Ferguson’ to the list of magical things that’ll never exist.
Speaking to MMA Fighting, Oliveira said he doesn’t think we’ll ever see the Khabib vs Tony fight.
“I think this Khabib fight with Tony Ferguson will never happen. Something always happens, someone gets hurt. This time was the coronavirus.”
Since 2015, ‘The Eagle’ vs ‘El Cucuy’ have been booked five times. The MMA gods have been creative in each cancellation. The bout has been postponed for reasons that vary from a bad weight cut for Khabib, to Tony requiring intensive surgery after tripping on cables doing media obligations.
The matchmakers are forced to keep rebooking the fight because the unlucky duo keep beating everyone else. They have singlehandedly wiped out the UFC lightweight division.
The UFC lightweight champion Khabib is undefeated at 28-0. While the 36 year old Ferguson hasn’t tasted defeat since 2012, winning 12 straight fights inside the Octagon. Their latest booking was set for the UFC main event on April 18th. However, the coronavirus pandemic put paid to this. First Khabib got stranded in Russia and then later the whole card was postponed.
Instead of waiting four or five months for Khabib to return, the UFC rebooked Ferguson vs Gaethje for the rescheduled UFC 249 on May 9th. The Dagestani champion began Ramadan earlier this week and won’t return until August at the very earliest.
UFC lightweight Oliveira, broke down the tough challenge that lies ahead for Gaethje against Ferguson.
“Tony Ferguson is in a very good moment in his life, is beating everyone, and has a unique style,” The 30 years old Brazilian prizefighter said. “I think it would be a tough fight for Justin Gaethje now, because Tony Ferguson was training to fight the champion [and had] an opportunity to become the world champion. So he was definitely training like never before, and Justin Gaethje wasn’t training for a fight.”
Justin’s as durable as they come though. The human highlight is a former WSOF champion. And is currently riding three first-round knockout streak over James Vick, Edson Barboza, and ‘Cowboy’ Cerrone. To beat Gaethje, you must be willing to engage in a battle of attrition because he will keep coming. (Imagine a zombie, but with nasty leg kicks!)
With UFC 249 moving from April 18th to May 9th, it gives Gaethje a little more time to prepare.
“Now that he has more time, he will get better prepared,” Charles said of Justin. “We know he has heavy hands, hits really hard, so anything can happen. But I still think Tony Ferguson wins.”
While the MMA landscape currently remains uncertain with the travel restrictions brought in because of the coronavirus pandemic, Oliveira is still weighing up his options for his next fight.
“Looks like Dustin Poirier will fight that skinny guy, Dan Hooker, so the only ones left are Conor McGregor, Donald Cerrone and Paul Felder,” Oliveira said. “Since Cerrone was one of the last fights I lost, who knows. I’ve been asking for a fight with Conor McGregor for a while, but if it doesn’t happen, we’ll see.”
UFC president Dana White yesterday stated that Khabib will face the winner of Ferguson vs Gaethje. But should ‘The Highlight’ win on May 9th, that would really throw a spanner in the works for the Khabib vs Tony fight we’ve waited so long for.
Do you agree with Charles Oliveira? Are we destined to never see Khabib Nurmagomedov vs Tony Ferguson?