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Dana White says Tony Ferguson vs Khabib Nurmagomedov ‘just wasn’t meant to be’

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“It wasn’t from lack of trying. We put that fight together five times. It just wasn’t meant to be,” White said.

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UFC president Dana White has admitted that the matchup between Tony Ferguson and Khabib Nurmagomedov, which has been scheduled and cancelled five times, “just wasn’t meant to be”.

Ferguson fought in the co-main event of UFC 256 this past weekend, suffering his second defeat on the bounce to rising title contender Charles Oliveira.

Talking at the post-fight press conference, White commended Ferguson’s performance against Oliveira despite the one-sided loss.

“I thought we were going to see the old Tony,” White 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.” (Transcription via MMA Fighting)

White went on to talk about Ferguson’s failed fight with former UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov. The two have been scheduled to meet a total of five times in the UFC, the first being in 2015 and most recent being this year.

“It just didn’t [happen],” White lamented when asked about the fight. “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.”