Surging UFC lightweight Charlies Oliveira is starting to think Khabib vs. Ferguson is cursed.
Both men have been booked to fight on five separate occasions but, for some reason or other, the bout always falls through at the last minute.
This time it was Nurmagomedov who was forced out of the matchup, as the reigning UFC lightweight champion is currently stuck in Russia due to a coronavirus-related travel ban.
“I think this Khabib fight with Tony Ferguson will never happen,” Oliveira told MMA Fighting’s Guilherme Cruz in a recent interview. “Something always happens, someone gets hurt. This time was the coronavirus.”
Justin Gaethje has stepped in as Khabib’s replacement and will challenge Tony Ferguson for the interim lightweight title in the new UFC 249 main event, but ‘do Bronx’ thinks ‘El Cucuy’ is better prepared for the matchup and will get the win on May 9.
“Tony Ferguson is in a very good moment in his life, is beating everyone, and (he) has a unique style,” Oliveira said. “I think it would be a tough fight for Justin Gaethje now, because Tony Ferguson was training to fight the champion (and had) an opportunity to become the world champion. So he was definitely training like never before, and Justin Gaethje wasn’t training for a fight.”
“Now that he has more time, he will get better prepared,” Oliveira said of Gaethje. “We know he has heavy hands, hits really hard, so anything can happen. But I still think Tony Ferguson wins.”
UFC 249: Ferguson vs. Gaethje is scheduled to take place next month, May 9 at VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena in Jacksonville, Florida.