Top UFC lightweight Khabib Nurmagomedov has agreed to fight at UFC 209. Now he’s waiting to see what comes of it.
Nurmagomedov told the UFC asked him about a fight with Tony Ferguson at UFC 209, a fight which he gladly accepted.
“UFC asked me about this fight (with Ferguson), March 4, UFC 209, and I said yes, I want to fight this,” Nurmagomedov said. “I want to take this fight. I want to fight with Tony and we, everybody, my team, are waiting for his answer.”
“I think this is a real high level fight in the lightweight division right now. I think UFC before never made this kind of fight because nine win streak versus eight win streak, this has never happened before. Inside UFC this has never happened. I think this is a very big fight. Everybody wants to watch this fight and I want to take this fight.”
It seems that Ferguson, currently ranked No. 2 in the division behind Nurmagomedov, wants the fight as well, but he appears to have issues with the money he would be paid for such a bout.
Several days ago, Ferguson tweeted, “Dana White must’ve paid you good with your new deal! You’re being fairly paid, now it’s my turn. I want this fight, but won’t take peanuts.”
Complicating the matter further is the injection of current UFC featherweight champion Jose Aldo. Like Nurmagomedov, the Brazilian said that he was approached by the promotion about fighting at UFC 209 for an interim lightweight title.
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“I now expect and believe I will be fighting in early March. Either March 3 or March 4, I can’t remember. I believe they will soon announce an interim lightweight title fight with me,” Aldo told MMAFighting.com recently. “They’ve been trying to find me an opponent, and — surprise, surprise — at least one has already turned down the fight against me. I’m waiting to see who they will find.”
The fighter that turned Aldo down? Nurmagomedov, as he feels the fight with Ferguson is the better bout for him in the division and he doesn’t want to “bully” Aldo.
So, much like the situation surrounding Eddie Alvarez, Conor McGregor, and Nurmagomedov and UFC 205, it appears the UFC is negotiating for a pivotal lightweight fight – likely for an interim title – but is having difficulty nailing down the match-up it wants between three key players.
With so many champions sitting on the sidelines, don’t be surprised if the promotion pushes hard and a UFC 209 fight between two of the three fighters – Nurmagomedov, Ferguson, and Aldo – gets finalized in the coming days.