Khabib Nurmagamedov is definitely out of action until the Fall because of a combination of a number of factors. First of all, he’s trapped in Russia. Vladimir Putin’s government shut the borders so that’s that. But secondly, Ramadan has just begun. He will observe a period of fasting as part of the Islamic festival.
In sum, this is why we have an interim title fight. Tony Ferguson fights Justin Gaethje at UFC 249 in Jacksonville, Florida on May 9th. The winner will be the clear cut, next contender, to fight for the belt. Obviously, Ferguson is already the clear-cut next contender.
However, he’s willing to put that on the line against a man on fire. Gaethje is riding a three-fight win streak with three straight first-round KOs. This is going to be carnage.
The UFC President promised that the winner of the interim title fight will take on Khabib. But let’s be real, he probably can’t keep that promise. That’s because Khabib v Ferguson is cursed. In short, the next barrier to this fight will be an asteroid hitting Earth, so let’s just give up on it already.
The Ferguson vs. Gaethje fight is one of the most violent fights you will see,” White told ESPN on Instagram Live. “I can guarantee that. This fight is going to be incredible. The winner will fight Khabib for the title. This is for the interim. 100 percent the winner fights Khabib.”
To sum up, he’ll take the fight to the International Space Station if he has to.
Make no mistake, Gaethje has no problem spoiling the party. He says that as a fan he would actually like to see the Tony v Khabib fight. But he’ll do what he has to do as a fighter. At the end of the day, he wants his title shot. In short, beating Ferguson guarantees that so that’s what he’ll set out to do. He told Brett Okamoto:
“Unless they want the world to end they should probably leave that fight alone. As a fan, I wanna see that fight just as much as anybody,” he said. But to put food on my table … I really don’t care about that. I will feel a little bit bad about that because I know how bad people want it. But for me to act like it would bother me, that would be a lie.”
In the Cold
One of the big questions now is where does this leave Conor McGregor? The Irishman wanted to fight this summer, with Gaethje his mostly next opponent. However, ‘The Highlight’s’ tenacity has paid off so McGregor is in the cold now. Who will McGregor fight next?
If we had to guess, we’d put money on a Nate Diaz trilogy fight. Diaz is an excellent foil for McGregor and may even be more beatable after taking a battering against Jorge Masvidal. With neither man booked to fight, is it the right time to make that match-up? Who do you think would win in this potential fight?