Fresh off the heels of his menacing beatdown of “The Menace” Michael Johnson at UFC 205, thus cementing his status as the no. 1 contender at lightweight, Khabib Nurmagomedov is chafing to sink his talons into the seemingly unstoppable freight train that is Tony Ferguson.
If “The Eagle” has his way, March 2017 would be the ideal date for their showdown, that, and the interim lightweight strap being up for grabs.
Any date earlier, or later than March, and the 28-year-old bear wrestling Dagestani intimated he’s willing to sit it out until newly-minted 155-pound champ Conor McGregor returns from his sabbatical in May, or June of the same year.
Per MMAFighting (h/t RT Sport):
“I feel very bad about this because before this year I have two years rest because I have injured all the time. Now I don’t want [to be] waiting for this guy. If Conor don’t want fight before May/June, I want to take other fight. I want to fight for the interim belt with Tony Ferguson.
“Last time he was injured. He pulled out, not me. He’s not coming to April 16 to the fight. Before I have been injured and now it’s, why not? Now, I think the UFC wants to make this fight. I feel this and for me its perfect date is March. Not early, only March.”
“El Cucuy” is currently riding a phenomenal nine-fight win streak, only equaled by featherweight standout Max “Blessed” Holloway.
At The Ultimate Fighter: Latin America 3, the #2 ranked lightweight showed why he’s one of the division’s most dangerous fighters when he systematically blitzed erstwhile lightweight titlist Rafael dos Anjos by way of unanimous decision.
“Tony Ferguson is tough guy, tough opponent. Nine-win streak. Why not? I think this is real high level lightweight fight. Not Conor versus me I think this is real high level fight.”
If this fight ever comes to fruition, you can bet your bottom dollar it’ll be a barn burner for sure – wrestler/grappler vs. striker/grappler.