In just over a week, streaking lightweights Khabib Nurmagomedov and Tony Ferguson will step into the Octagon for a highly anticipated interim lightweight title fight in the co-main event of UFC 209.
Ahead of the fight, both men have continued to trade verbal blows, with Nurmagomedov threatening to break Ferguson’s arm, and Ferguson vowing to use his indomitable spirit to break Nurmagomedov and hand ‘The Eagle’ his first professional loss.
Thursday afternoon, during the UFC 209 media call, the pair traded shots once again, with Ferguson claiming that Nurmagomedov actually should have lost his UFC debut against Gleison Tibau:
“YOUR FIRST FIGHT, YOU LOST TO HIM – I BEAT HIM IN THE FIRST ROUND,” FERGUSON SAID. “YOU AIN’T BREAKING (EXPLETIVE). YOU KEEP TALKING.”
This of course led to Nurmagomedov pointing out Ferguson’s 2012 unanimous decision loss to Michael Johnson, who he defeated at UFC 205 via submission in a dominant showing that ultimately earned Nurmagomedov an interim lightweight title shot.
“YOU SAID MICHAEL JOHNSON WAS GOING TO KILL ME,” NURMAGOMEDOV SAID. “WHAT HAPPENED? I FINISHED HIM. I COULD HAVE FINISHED HIM IN THE FIRST ROUND. I COULD HAVE FINISHED HIM IN THE SECOND ROUND.
Ferguson then questioned the cardio of Nurmagomedov, questioning the undefeated Dagestani’s cardio while predicting that ‘The Eagle’ would be unable to make weight for the fight.
Ferguson continued, firing back at Nurmagomedov for accusing him from ducking the fight before it was made official:
“THERE’S NOBODY RUNNING FROM THIS FIGHT,” FERGUSON SAID. “DUDE, YOU’RE A PUNK. YOU’RE A (EXPLETIVE) BULLY, JUST LIKE EVERYBODY ELSE AT AKA. NOBODY’S RUNNING BUT CONOR (MCGREGOR).”
Nurmagomedov was quick to fire back with a comment of his own, saying:
“I WANT TO BREAK YOUR FACE – I WANT TO BREAK YOUR HEART.”
Ferguson then went fully on the attack, saying:
“YOUR HAT IS COVERING YOUR EARS – YOU’RE NOT LISTENING TO ME,” FERGUSON SAID. “(EXPLETIVE) YOU, KHABIB. YOU DIDN’T DO NOTHING. I’M THE MATADOR. YOU’VE GOT 1.9 MILLION PEOPLE THAT ARE GOING TO BE SAD AS (EXPLETIVE) WHEN I FINISH YOUR ASS.”
This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 2/22/2017.