UFC 219 isn’t shaping up to be quite the blockbuster year-ender the promotion seems to be targeting just yet. As reported earlier, they initially tried to “get creative” by offering Tyron Woodley vs Nate Diaz for the welterweight belt, before ending up booking Cris Cyborg vs Holly Holm.
He says Ferguson hasn’t accepted, and took to social media to try and pressure the interim lightweight champion into fighting his teammate.
So I walk into the gym today and @khabib_nurmagomedov walks up and says the @Ufc is wanting to make me vs @tonyfergusonxt for dec 30. Then he tells me that tony is saying no to the fight. Come on Tony, that ain’t gangsta bruh. Take the fight man!!!! pic.twitter.com/PCyjdAxIF3— Daniel Cormier (@dc_mma) November 22, 2017
Nurmagomedov is currently scheduled to face Edson Barboza on the same event, and Cormier says that bout would be scrapped in favor of the title bout if they manage to make it happen.
DC, who is batting for his teammate to get the bigger fight, also brought up Ferguson’s past statements to try and convince him to accept the contest.
He was gonna be pulled from that fight to fight Tony. In the Kevin Lee buildup they were very adamant about the fight being for the real title. Well time to defend it. #DefendorVacate that’s what he saying now right? https://t.co/jmjfCt2aT8— Daniel Cormier (@dc_mma) November 23, 2017
Khabib also spoke about the offer:
Ferguson currently holds the interim lightweight title, which pretty much has him next in line for a fight against Conor McGregor. Seeing Ferguson vs Khabib finally push through surely would’ve been interesting, but it’s hard to blame ‘El Cucuy’ for wanting to sit out for a much more lucrative title unification bout that he already earned.
Unless the UFC decides to make Ferguson or Diaz a larger offer that they can’t refuse, it seems like those two title bouts won’t happen and they’ll have to find other ways to beef up their year-ending show.