While UFC president Dana White is trying to keep UFC 249 intact, lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov is trying not to let things get too personal between himself and challenger Tony Ferguson.
There has been a lot of trash talk between Nurmagomedov and Ferguson over the years. After all, the bout has been previously scheduled on four other occasions and never successfully made it to the Octagon. But there are certain realms where Nurmagomedov doesn't want to tread when it comes to Ferguson.
Ferguson had some issues in his personal life over the last couple of years that kept him out of the cage for a period of time, but has since been cleared by doctors to continue fighting. Upon his return, he stopped Donald "Cowboy" Cerrone and re-established himself as the No. 1 contender.
Nurmagomedov isn't going to use Ferguson's personal turmoil as a promotional tool or mental warfare tactic in the lead-up to their fight, which White is trying feverishly to keep on the docket for April 18 somewhere in the world.
When a reporter at a recent Dominance MMA Media Day asked Nurmagomedov about Ferguson's mental health, the champion refused to go there.
"It's nothing personal here. I don't want to talk about this problem, like family stuff, mental stuff. This is his problem. Leave him alone," he said.
"If he need help, we need to get him help... Talk about his mental problem, I don't think it's good stuff."
It's currently not clear where White intends for UFC 249 to take place, particularly with the numerous travel restrictions and other limitations in place when it comes to dealing with the covid-19 global pandemic. Ferguson is based in the United States, while Nurmagomedov recently returned to Russia to complete his fight preparations on his home turf.
Tony Ferguson slams reporter for bringing up his mental health
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