Khabib Nurmagomedov threatened to 'eat' Tony Ferguson when 'El Cucuy' challenged the former undisputed champion to a street fight. Hailing from the hills of Dagestan, Russia, Khabib Nurmagomedov taunted Ferguson for a 'street fight' comment.
The verbal spat took place during a press conference for UFC 249. Ferguson was set to face Khabib for the undisputed gold. The back-and-forth was mostly cordial on Khabib's part until Tony Ferguson accused 'The Eagle' of never being involved in a street fight:
"This kid's a bully. He has never been in a street fight. Never actually been thrown into a trash can or any kind of sh*t like that," said Tony Ferguson.
The comment urged a prompt response from an agitated Khabib Nurmagomedov:
"Street fight I can eat you. Hey! Hey sunglasses. In a street fight I can eat you. You understand? Who are you? You never fight (In the street). You American guy. In America you cannot fight in the streets. I am from real mountains. I can eat you in a street fight. They (crowd) know where I'm from. I can eat you in a street fight," Khabib said.
You can watch the video of Khabib Nurmagomedov's verbal altercation with Tony Ferguson down below:
Tony Ferguson vs. Khabib Nurmagomedov: A blockbuster event that never happened
The UFC made five futile attempts to bring a Khabib Nurmagomedov vs. Tony Ferguson bout to fruition. Each time the two lightweights were set to clash, the fight was subsequently canceled due to one reason or the other.
The first booking was made for the finale of TUF (The Ultimate Fighter) season 22. Khabib was forced to pull out due to a knee injury and the bout was postponed for a later date. The second attempt (April 2016) also failed to reach the octagon, as Ferguson reportedly caught a respiratory infection.
The fight was booked yet again for UFC 209. The interim lightweight title was up for grabs this time. But as luck would have it, the fight fell through once again. Khabib was reported to be in poor condition following a taxing weight cut and was hospitalized.
The three failed attempts did not dissuade the UFC from booking the fight again. The undisputed lightweight belt was set to be on the line at UFC 223. But due to a devastating knee injury, 'El Cucuy' had to pull out and the fight was dubbed to be 'cursed' by fans and MMA media.
The fifth and final attempt at booking the fight was at UFC 249. Due to Covid-19 and lockdown restrictions, Khabib Nurmagomedov could not make the trip to Jacksonville, Florida. The promotion called off the fight and set up Tony Ferguson vs. Justin Gaethje instead.