‘It wasn’t from lack of trying… we put that fight together five times’: Dana White insists blockbuster UFC bout between Tony Ferguson and Khabib Nurmagomedov ‘wasn’t meant to be’
- Tony Ferguson and Khabib Nurmagomedov fight has been cancelled five times
- Injury, fitness, freak accidents and the coronavirus pandemic have stopped it
- Dana White believes it ‘just wasn’t meant to be’ after latest cancellation in April
- Ferguson fought again last weekend but lost to Charles Oliveira in Las Vegas
Ferguson suffered a second successive defeat in the Octagon on Saturday night, losing to Charles Oliveira at UFC 256 in Las Vegas.
That defeat appears to have ruled out any chance of him taking on Khabib, who he has been scheduled to fight plenty of times over the years, with the bout being cancelled for a fifth time due to the coronavirus pandemic back in April.
Tony Ferguson (right) lost to Charles Oliveira in his latest UFC bout in Las Vegas on Saturday
Dana White (right) says Ferguson’s bout with Khabib (left) just ‘wasn’t meant to be’
When asked about the bout, Dana White told reporters: ‘It just didn’t [happen].
‘It wasn’t from lack of trying. We put that fight together five times. It just wasn’t meant to be. I don’t think about it at all.’
They were first meant to fight in 2015 but Khabib withdrew with a rib injury, before Ferguson had a lung issue in 2016. A year later, while trying to make weight for their third rescheduled bout, Ferguson developed a kidney problem.
April 2018 was then slated for the match-up, but Ferguson then suffered a freak accident six days before the fight, tearing his knee ligament after tripping over a cable at a media event.
They were meant to fight five times, including in April 2020, but it was cancelled each time
Ferguson (left) suffered a horrific injury on Saturday night when his arm was bent backwards
In April of this year, the coronavirus pandemic put paid to any chance of the pair fighting, with all bouts put on hold alongside the rest of the world of sport.
White, meanwhile, was ringside to watch Ferguson’s latest bout and he admits that the result wasn’t what he expected.
‘I thought we were going to see the old Tony,’ he said. ‘I thought that the last fight [against Justin Gaethje] he was affected by weight cutting. I mean 10 out of 10 people tap to that armbar.
‘The fact that he even made it through the armbar is unbelievable. Just a testament to how tough and durable and crazy Tony Ferguson is.’