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Khabib open to coach against Tony Ferguson on TUF: Not many ‘big stars in UFC right now’

Khabib Nurmagomedov believes an Ultimate Fighter season against Tony Ferguson would make up for the lack of “big stars” in the UFC right now.

Even after five tries, the UFC failed to book the much-anticipated matchup between Khabib Nurmagomedov and Tony Ferguson. “The Eagle” ended up retiring in 2020 while “El Cucuy” is now on a decline after a dominant six-year run.

But according to Khabib, there could be a chance for him and his old rival to compete against each other. In a recent interview with ESPN’s Brett Okamoto, the former lightweight champion said he’d be open to coaching against Ferguson in a future season of The Ultimate Fighter.

“I like this idea, honestly. We can do some stuff, because right now… not too many big stars in UFC right now,” Khabib said. “Even myself, I’m finished, Jon Jones is not there, Henry Cejudo not there, Daniel Cormier not there.

“Of course, I don’t like this guy (Ferguson), but he have big name. Conor not there. Lot of people is not there. Adesanya, Volkanovski, of course, Ngannou, and my brother, pound-for-pound king Kamaru Usman. Only, like, maybe few people.”

In the same interview, Khabib revealed being ‘seen zoned’ by Dana White when he asked the UFC president to book Islam Makhachev against Charles Oliveira after UFC 274. With the platform given to him by Okamoto and ESPN, the 33-year-old Dagestani tried again.

“If me and Tony, we’re gonna Ultimate Fighter coach, I think they can create some good content. If they interested, if Dana respond my message…

“I don’t wanna give him pressure, but Dana, we have to finish two business: Islam Makhachev and Ultimate Fighter,” Khabib said. “Please, call me back, brother. Because if you don’t call me back, I’m gonna be in Vegas, June. Then you have to send me message, and your location.

“Be careful, Dana. We have to finish our business, brother. Call me back.”

From his end, Ferguson accepted the offer.

The 38-year-old Ferguson is coming off a brutal knockout loss to Michael Chandler at UFC 274. He is currently on a four-fight losing streak.