Is the fifth time a charm for Khabib Nurmagomedov and Tony Ferguson?
UFC president Dana White certainly hopes so, as he is targeting the two for an April 2020 UFC event, according to an ESPN report on Monday. The bout would be for Nurmagomedov's UFC lightweight championship and serve as the main event for an April 18 pay-per-view fight card in Brooklyn, N.Y.
Ali Abdelaziz, Nurmagomedov's manager, confirmed to ESPN that bout agreements had been issued and that Nurmagomedov had already signed his.
Sources indicated that while Ferguson is interested in making the fight happen, he has yet to sign his bout agreement pending further negotiations.
Nurmagomedov and Ferguson have been slated to fight on four other occasions. The bout has been nixed every time either because of injury or weight cutting issues. They were last scheduled to fight at UFC 223 in April 2018. Ferguson had to withdraw from the bout when he tore a ligament when he tripped on the set to do an interview to promote the fight.
With Nurmagomedov fighting his way to a spotless 28-0 record, the fight is one of the most anticipated in UFC history. He became the lightweight champion when he defeated Al Iaquinta, a late replacement at UFC 223. He has since gone on to defend the belt twice. He defeated Conor McGregor via fourth-round submission at UFC 229 and followed with a third-round finish of Dustin Poirier at UFC 242.
The No. 1 lightweight contender and a former interim champion, Ferguson is 25-3 and is currently riding a 12-fight winning streak in the Octagon. In his last four bouts, Ferguson has rattled off victories over the likes of Rafael dos Anjos, Kevin Lee, Anthony Pettis, and Donald "Cowboy" Cerrone.