Khabib blasts Ferguson for turning down interim fight
UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov criticised fellow MMA fighter Tony Ferguson for turning down an interim-level fight.
Ferguson (24-3) recently turned down the opportunity to fight Max Holloway for the division's interim belt.
According to UFC president Dana White, Ferguson said he deserves a shot at Nurmagomedov (27-0) following 11 consecutive victories.
Nurmagomedov, who is serving a nine-month ban for his role in a post-bout brawl with Conor McGregor at UFC 229 in October, used Instagram to call out Ferguson for trying to rush to fight him while suspended.
I want to remind you guys, that before I become champion, I was close to the title fight 3 times and all 3 times I missed my opportunity. First was in July 2016 when I was offered to fight in Ramadan month and I turned it down, second was UFC 205 NYC when I was offered a title fight, bout agreement signed, but my title was given away, you know the story. Third time was UFC 209 where I was hospitalized and almost died. But after every single fail I were said: you missed your chance, earn your shot with one more victory. Tony you had your chance and you missed it, and that’s your fault only. You know that I’m disqualified and can’t fight, but it’s not fair to strip me off the title, I fought 3 times in 9 months. I won and defended my belt. As a fighter you deserve a title fight, you are great fighter and opponent, but now you have to fight or wait for my DQ to be over and fight(but UFC doesn’t want it). I don’t understand your offenses, if you fell down, you got to get up, not complain. #ufc #mma #ufclightweight
"Tony, you had your chance and you missed it, and that's your fault only," Nurmagomedov wrote via social media.
"You know that I'm disqualified and can't fight, but it's not fair to strip me off the title. I fought three times in nine months. I won and defended my belt.
"As a fighter you deserve a title fight, you are great fighter and opponent, but now you have to fight or wait for my DQ to be over and fight (but UFC doesn't want it). I don't understand your offenses, if you fell down, you got to get up, not complain."
Nurmagomedov is eligible to return to the octagon on July 6, but the Russian wants to wait until November to fight in New York.