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Video: Khabib kicks Ferguson’s interim belt at UFC 249 press conference

Tony Ferguson set his interim title belt down before facing off with Khabib Nurmagomedov during their UFC 249 presser. So Khabib gave it a boot.

UFC 249 Khabib v Ferguson: Press Conference Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC

It doesn’t appear that there will be any lack of tension heading into UFC 249 next month. The pay-per-view event, set for April 18th in Brooklyn, NY, is expected to be headlined by the long awaited lightweight title fight between champion Khabib Nurmagomedov and former interim champ Tony Ferguson.

Ferguson picked up a piece of the lightweight title with a third round submission victory over Kevin Lee back in 2017. A freak fight-week injury to ‘El Cucuy’ scrapped the planned unification bout against Nurmagomedov shortly afterward, and the UFC then stripped him of the honor. But, that doesn’t mean the Oxnard-born fighter doesn’t still have the actual belt. And having gone unbeaten since 2012, he’s got a strong case to make that he’s never really lost his claim to UFC gold.

In fact, Ferguson showed up for his UFC 249 press conference with Khabib Nurmagomedov this week, with that interim title belt over his shoulder. After taking questions from fans and media, the two men faced off for a staredown. Ferguson set his belt on the stage so he could strike a pose. But, after some jawing back and forth between himself and Khabib, the Dagestani champ decided he needed to send a message about Ferguson’s title claims. You can see the video below.

The UFC 249 headliner is, in fact, the fifth attempt to book a bout between Ferguson and Nurmagomedov, with injuries and botched weight cuts scrapping the original matchups. By this point, both men have to be tired of getting ready to fight one another; tensions certainly appear to be running high. If everyone stays healthy, fans should be in for a thrilling fight come April.

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