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Dana White: ‘I will absolutely entertain’ the idea of Khabib and Tony Ferguson as TUF coaches

Dana White says he’s ‘sold’ on the idea of having Tony Ferguson and Khabib Nurmagomedov as opposing coaches on the Ultimate Fighter.

Khabib Nurmagomedov and Tony Ferguson face off for their UFC 249 matchup in 2020.
Khabib Nurmagomedov and Tony Ferguson face off for their UFC 249 matchup in 2020.
Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC

Even after five attempts, the UFC failed to make the much-hyped matchup between Khabib Nurmagomedov and Tony Ferguson. The two men have since gone their respective paths, with “The Eagle” heading into retirement and “El Cucuy” falling from grace and into an unfortunate skid.

Nonetheless, the what-ifs between the two men remain to be a hot topic. Recently, Khabib brought up the idea of possibly coaching against Ferguson in a future season of The Ultimate Fighter reality show. He even sent a personal message to UFC president Dana White to make it happen.

“If me and Tony, we’re gonna Ultimate Fighter coach, I think they can create some good content,” Khabib told ESPN’s Brett Okamoto in a recent interview. “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. 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.”

White never seemed to get that message until recently, when he appeared on Barstool Sports’ My Mom’s Basement with Robbie Fox. And he says he’s on board with the idea.

“I’ll consider it. Congratulations. I will absolutely entertain that idea,” he said. “Hopefully, they’ll get pissed off enough with each other that they actually want to fight.

“I’m in. You sold me.”

The 33-year-old Khabib retired after his UFC 254 title defense against Justin Gaethje to end his career with a 29-0 slate. The 38-year-old Ferguson (25-7), meanwhile, is on a four-fight losing streak. He last fought at UFC 274 against Michael Chandler in May where he was viciously knocked out cold with a single front kick to the chin in the second round.