How the tables have turned in 2020. At the beginning of the year, Tony Ferguson was at the top of his game and on an unprecedented 12 fight winning streak inside the octagon, all set to fight Khabib Nurmagomedov for the UFC lightweight title at UFC 249.
However, as fate would have it, Nurmagomedov had to pull out of the fight due to COVID-related travel restrictions in Russia and he was later replaced by Justin Gaethje. The new headliner of UFC 249 was now a duel for the interim lightweight title between Khabib Nurmagomedov and Justin Gaethje. What was supposed to be a back and forth encounter turned out to be a thoroughly one-sided contest as Gaethje dished out severe punishment on Tony Ferguson until the latter was forced to quit from the severely damaging shots he took to the face and legs.
Since then, Gaethje's fortunes have turned and he is now a couple of days away from the biggest fight of his life against Khabib Nurmagomedov while Ferguson cuts a frustrated figure, and has lost a lot of the aura of indestructibility surrounding him.
At a recent interview, when Nurmagomedov was asked if he's still interested in fighting Tony Ferguson who was once considered his toughest opponent, the undefeated Russian claimed that Ferguson is "finished" after the beating he took at the hands of Gaethje. Khabib said that he believes no one can ever take a beating like Ferguson did and come out of it as the same fighter again.
Khabib's comments certainly didn't go down well with "El Cucuy". Tony Ferguson is livid at the fact that people are writing him off after having suffered just one defeat inside the Octagon in his last 13 fights. Ferguson had a strong response to Khabib's comments. He claimed that the champ is afraid to fight him and is hiding behind these excuses to avoid a potential matchup. Tony Ferguson further promised that he will definitely fight Khabib before the latter retires.Published 22 Oct 2020, 17:43 IST