On Sunday night, after taking a controversial submission win over Michael Chiesa in the main event of UFC Fight Night Oklahoma City, Kevin Lee called out No. 1-ranked lightweight Khabib Nurmagomedov. There’s just one problem with that, Nurmagomedov only has eyes for one man: the eternally unattainable Tony Ferguson.
In a recent interview with RT Sport, Nurmagomedov made it clear that he plans to return in the fall and when he does, the only fight he is interested in is the interim title bout against Ferguson that fell through at UFC 209.
“I’m going through rehabilitation. I can’t give you a certain date but it’s going to be this fall. I’ll take this summer to rehabilitate and in the fall, I’ll start my preparation and at the end of the fall, I want to have a fight. We’ll go for the same fight with Ferguson. I have no interest in any other fight. I have to finish my business with Tony Ferguson.”
The fight between Ferguson and Nurmagomedov appears to be snakebitten. The two have been scheduled to face each other on three separate occasions yet the fight has failed to materialize every time due to injury withdrawals. The last time occurred just days before UFC 209 when Nurmagomedov was hospitalized during his weight cut.
Ferguson however, is not so quick to reschedule the fight with Nurmagomedov. In a video from the Fox Sports analyst booth, the No. 2-ranked lightweight teased Nurmagomedov and said he needed to “beg” for that fight to be remade.
.@tonyfergusonXT has a message for @TeamKhabib following his challenge to Tony from rehab. #ShotsFired #StrongWords pic.twitter.com/jp0pm1o8g2— FOX Sports: UFC (@UFCONFOX) June 26, 2017
“Team Khabib - I’m sorry, Team Tiramisu, this message is for you. You checked yourself into rehab [but] what you need to do is find Jenny Craig. You need a dietician, my friend. You say we have unfinished business. I showed up, I made weight, you decided to chicken out, my friend.
“Actually, you’re not my friend. I don’t like you at all. You don’t even come close to it. You and your fuzzy hat. But I can’t wait to shut that hype train down so maybe if you’re lucky and you beg me enough I might give you that one chance to get that belt against numero uno right here. Until then, have fun making that weight cut. . .
“Good luck trying to get this fight. So like I said, if you want to beg me for that fight, maybe somewhere along the lines of UFC 300, if you do make that weight, maybe you’ll show up and you’ll actually make the weight and we’ll have a fight and maybe the fans can see you get that one loss on your record.”
But though he says Nurmagomedov needs to beg, options appear limited for Ferguson. With Nurmagomedov out of action while observing Ramadan, Ferguson has been looking for a fight with Nate Diaz but Diaz hasn’t shown much interest in the bout and he’s already either beaten the rest of the upper echelon of the rankings or they are indisposed. And when Kevin Lee, who got a win over the sixth-ranked Chiesa, made overtures about fighting Ferguson last night Ferguson said Lee’s resume still didn’t meet his “standards” for a fight.
Ultimately, the most likely scenario still appears to be an interim lightweight title fight between the two guys who have been circling each other for over a year and who still seem to really hate each other.
Keep Trying #TeamTiramasu - It's Not Rehab You Need Fathead Its Discipline #JustSayNo @TeamKhabib You Need To Beg Me For Another Shot #CuCuy— Tony Ferguson (@TonyFergusonXT) June 25, 2017
My discipline made me who I am today. Your time will come soon bastard.— khabib nurmagomedov (@TeamKhabib) June 25, 2017
Bellator. Bellator NYC took place Saturday and here are the results.
UFC OKC. UFC Fight Night OKC took place on Sunday and here are the results.
Fight. Chael Sonnen says he and Rory MacDonald are destined to fight.
Please no. Fedor Emelianenko plans to fight on despite KO loss to Matt Mitrione.
PPV. Scott Coker expects to do another Bellator PPV early next year.
Response. Wanderlei Silva responds to his loss to Chael Sonnen.
Kevin Lee and T-Ferg going at it. 10-8 round Lee.
Chiesa wants Yamasaki out.
This guy does incredible promo work.
LFA highlights including Colbey Northcutt’s loss.
Freddie Roach calling Conor a four-round fighter which isn’t all the way untrue.
See a young James Gallagher being molded by Conor.
6th Round. Bellator NYC gets the immediate reaction from BE.
The MMA Circus. I co-host and there’s a Douglas Lima interview to listen to.
Luke Thomas Show. Luke breaks down the Bellator NYC show which he attended.
SOCIAL MEDIA BOUILLABAISSE
The man called it.
I am going to shock the world on June 24th!! #BellatorNYC #Bellator180 #altarboymma— Zach Freeman (@altarboymma) June 8, 2017
Oh, just the president of a multi-billion dollar company acting like a 6-year-old.
Mario Mazzagatti does it again!!! This guy is more concerned with doing this dumb ass heart bullshit then Ref'n the fight!!! Steals a great moment from Lee or let Mike fight it or tap. Nobody gives a shit that u can make a heart with ur hands like a 12 year old girl they want u to pay attention to what's going on in the fight and do ur job.
I am a warrior, and I will never quit #ShitHappens haha be back soon.— Justine Kish (@JustineKish) June 26, 2017
Yamasaki, never wanting to be outdone, had to go in there and shit the cage even harder. #UFCOKC— Erl (@EarlMontclair) June 26, 2017
When are referees gonna be held accountable for bad calls? I know it's a tough job but a bad call changes people's lives— Cub Swanson (@CubSwanson) June 26, 2017
Your new Bellator champ got class.
I wish Chandler a fast recovery and hope he's ok. I've looked up to @mikechandlermma and respect him more than I can put into words. I know we're going to throw down again and I can't wait. Fighting him and fighting at Madison square garden was a dream come true. Chandler is a champion in the cage and out of the cage. It's been a crazy camp full of injuries and set backs but that's how this fight game goes. Thank you god for this life and everything you've given me, thank you to my family and friends for all the support and my beautiful pregnant wife. I can't wait to have our baby and be a dad and have our own little family. I'm going to heal up my injuries and be back to defend the Bellator lightweight title. @badboybrands @rootsorganics @eugenefishmarket @donlewisplumbing @big_kahuna_bowls @halotopcreamery @performancemartialarts @teamoyama @gbportland @iridiumsports @bellatormma • • • • • #lifeisgood #thankyougod #champion #cantwaittobeadad #champ #family #thankyou #blessed
And so does the WW champ.
Such a beast this guy is! Honor to share the cage with you bro! @da_MONSOON pic.twitter.com/qhbhrlcLJ6— Douglas Lima (@PhenomLima) June 25, 2017
And Pitbull is ready for the young Irish pup.
I'll fight you in Croke Park. Bring your daddy @TheNotoriousMMA to see you get beat up from the front row. @StrabanimalMMA @BellatorMMA— Patricio Freire (@PatricioPitbull) June 25, 2017
Johnny Hendricks should hire me as his nutritionist #ufc pic.twitter.com/91zEuNLcxL— Belal muhammad (@bullyb170) June 24, 2017
When are we gonna have a serious conversation about Dillon Danis going all Black Swan on McGregor?
Speaking of, Conor did something fantastic.
Huge thanks to @TheNotoriousMMA for visiting Crumlin Children's Hospital. It was the lift my family and everyone in the heart centre needed. pic.twitter.com/iZdvuOMtKx— Matty Craze (@MattCraze) June 24, 2017
This should answer all your McGregor-Mayweather questions.
Me and @criscyborg sparring a small clip ❤️ pic.twitter.com/PDYwhOEtDJ— ClaressaT-rexShields (@Claressashields) June 25, 2017
Speaking of which, T-Wood made friends.
#BestUFCFighter @ufc @floydmayweather / @danbilzerian & @linoeding there for Back up in case @thenotoriousmma has something to say. pic.twitter.com/Mo9SMhWZO8— Tyron T-Wood Woodley (@TWooodley) June 25, 2017
If you were paying attention, yesterday was the day that internet hardo was supposed to show up and fight Cody Garbrandt but it appears he chickened out. Check Zombie Prophet’s Tweets for the full story.
I been at the gym since 10 am this fool isn't here https://t.co/DYb7g9Clff— Cody Garbrandt (@Cody_Nolove) June 25, 2017
Been out here, no sign of SwallowKing!! #BitchTits #TwitterFingers # 1 a troll! pic.twitter.com/vJYsagqA33— Cody Garbrandt (@Cody_Nolove) June 25, 2017
She’s the closest thing we have to a secret agent. She can shoot, fight, and dance.
Shevchenko should definitely be an assassin in a Bond movie at some point in the future. #UFCOklahoma— Dan Hardy (@danhardymma) June 26, 2017
What the hell?
Ben Henderson (24-7) vs. Patricky Freire (17-8); Bellator 183, September 23.
Roy Nelson (22-14) vs. Javy Ayala (10-5); Bellator 183, September 23.
TODAY IN MMA HISTORY
1976: Muhammad Ali fought Antonio Inoki in a mixed rules fight that is seen by many as the forebearer of MMA and indirectly led to the creation of Pancrase.
2005: Pride FC: Critical Countdown took place with Wanderlei Silva, Ricardo Arona, Alistair Overeem, and Mauricio Rua all picking up wins to secure their spots in the semifinals of the Pride 2005 middleweight grand prix. This was part of Shogun’s unbelievable run in 2005 that saw him defeat Quinton Jackson, Antonio Rogerio Noguiera, Overeem, and Arona on his way to the title.
2010: The king fell. Fedor Emelianenko’s 10 year reign of dominance came to an end with a single tap as Fabricio Werdum submitted him with a triangle armbar at Strikeforce /M-1 Global: Fedor vs. Werdum.
2011: Cheick Kongo scored the comeback of the year, knocking out Pat Barry while on the proverbial ropes at UFC on Versus 4.
That was a long weekend of fights, and honestly, pretty lackluster. Bellator can’t really be happy with how that card turned out and the UFC event was very blaise only to be capped off by Mario Yamasaki screwing up. Chiesa was about to go out but now he can appeal it and should get the NC, meaning Yamasaki robbed Lee of the biggest win of his career. Almost as crap a situation as the Kish-Herrig affair (do you see what I did there?).
Also, real bad weekend to be an MMA hyper-prospect. Colbey Northcutt and Aaron Pico getting done up proper. Still, long way to go and both could end up being excellent fighters. Everyone sucks at fighting at first.
Anyway, hope y’all enjoyed the weekend. Jon Fitch is fighting this weekend but otherwise, nothing this week so rest up and enjoy it. Take it easy y’all and Conor bless.
If you find something you'd like to see in the Morning Report, just hit me up on Twitter @JedKMeshew and let me know about it. Also follow MMAFighting on Instagram and add us on Snapchat at MMA-Fighting because we post dope things and you should enjoy it.