Charles Oliveira: Khabib Nurmagomedov & Tony Ferguson Will Never Fight

Charles Oliveira

Charles Oliveira has gone on record to say he believes Khabib Nurmagomedov and Tony Ferguson will never actually fight.

Lightweight contender Oliveira is slowly working his way into title contention. Last time out he submitted Kevin Lee at UFC Brasilia to extend his winning streak to seven. At the top, he will find current 155lb champion Nurmagmedov and former interim titleholder, Ferguson. The two men were scheduled to face off at UFC 249 on April 18 to finally settle the rivalry that stretches to 2015.

Unfortunately, Nurmagomedov was forced to withdraw from the event due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic and subsequent travel issues. The card was later postponed before being rescheduled. ‘El Cucuy’ will now face fellow contender Justin Gaethje for the interim title on May 9.  

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This is remarkably the fifth time Nurmagmedov and Ferguson have been booked to fight but never made it to the cage. Oliveira is now convinced the two will never face off. “I think this Khabib fight with Tony Ferguson will never happen,” Oliveira told MMA Fighting. “Something always happens, someone gets hurt. This time was the coronavirus.”

Oliveira does however believe Ferguson emerges victorious from his bout against Gaethje, putting him next in line for the champion.

“Tony Ferguson is in a very good moment in his life, is beating everyone, and (he) has a unique style,” Oliveira said. “I think it would be a tough fight for Justin Gaethje now, because Tony Ferguson was training to fight the champion (and had) an opportunity to become the world champion. So he was definitely training like never before, and Justin Gaethje wasn’t training for a fight.”

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“Now that he has more time, he will get better prepared,” Oliveira said of Gaethje. “We know he has heavy hands, hits really hard, so anything can happen. But I still think Tony Ferguson wins.”

Do you agree with Charles Oliveira? Is the Khabib Nurmagmedov vs. Tony Ferguson fight cursed?