Nurmagomedov Tony FeRguson

Khabib Nurmagomedov has called out “stupid guy” Tony Ferguson for asking the UFC to strip him after he was forced to pull out of UFC 249.

Lightweight champion Nurmagomedov was due to face ‘El Cucuy’ on April 18 in Brooklyn New York. The ongoing coronavirus pandemic triggered a statewide ban on all mass gatherings leaving the event without a home.

Just two weeks from fight night it seems unlikely the show will go ahead despite UFC President Dana White guaranteeing it will. With no venue or host city and global travel bans, Nurmagomedov took the difficult decision to pull out of the fight on Wednesday – making this the fifth time these two fighters have been scheduled to meet without actually fighting.

His pull-out prompted Ferguson to call on the UFC to strip Nurmagomedov of his belt and allow him to face someone else for the vacant title at UFC 249. Speaking to ESPN, Nurmagomedov reacted to Fergusons calls for him to be stripped which didn’t seem to surprise him, he said.

“My reaction is the same as [the] press conference, he’s just a stupid guy. Okay, strip me if this is my mistake. Like last time, April 2018, it was his mistake. Right now, this is not Khabib mistake, this is coronavirus. This is two different things. I am not coronavirus, coronavirus is coronavirus, Khabib is Khabib, this is not the same. Separate, this is different, completely different. It’s like, I don’t know man.”

Despite the fact, he won’t be involved Nurmagomedov is backing the UFC to pull off a card on April 18. He understands everyone needs to be paid and respects UFC boss White is trying his best to make that happen.

“Of course. If they want to make [a] show, let’s go. A lot of people want to fight because they don’t have money. They don’t have money, they have kids, they have family, they have like so many things,” Nurmagomedov explained. “Of course, I’m not going to say no. If they can, let’s go. I know Dana tries very hard.”

Should the UFC strip Khabib Nurmagomedov of his lightweight title or create an interim belt for Tony Ferguson to fight for at UFC 249?

A lifelong fight fan from Liverpool, England who has been covering mixed martial arts (MMA) and boxing for several years. Follow @JordanEllisUK on Twitter for all the latest fight news, views, interviews and live event coverage.