Dana White Says Tony Ferguson vs. Khabib Nurmagomedov ‘Will Happen’ At UFC 223

January 17, 2018

Despite reports to the contrary, UFC president Dana White says that interim lightweight champion Tony Ferguson is expected to meet Khabib Nurmagomedov at UFC 223 in Brooklyn on April 7.

White appeared on the ‘T&R’ show in Boston on Wednesday where he discussed the matchup between Ferguson and Nurmagomedov.

While he stopped short of saying the fight is actually official, White stated that matchup will go down at the upcoming card that will see the UFC return to Brooklyn for the second year in a row.

“Yes. That fight is gonna happen. That fight will happen,” White said about Ferguson vs. Nurmagomedov. “Yes [Brooklyn].”

Now as of Tuesday, Nurmagomedov still hadn’t agreed to accept the fight on the current terms being offered by the UFC. Nurmagomedov’s long time manager Ali Abdel-Aziz confirmed in text message that there was “no deal” in place for the fight as of yet.

Nurmagomedov had said previously that he didn’t want to fight Ferguson unless it was for the real UFC lightweight title, which means current champion Conor McGregor would have to be stripped of the belt.

White has said in recent weeks that he would strip McGregor if he doesn’t book his return fight in the near future but as of yet the 29-year old Irishman still hasn’t been told that his lightweight title is being taken away from him.

That may be the hold up in actually making the fight official but it’s clear the UFC wants Ferguson vs. Nurmagomedov to headline the upcoming card on April 7.

For now, White seems confident the matchup will take place at UFC 223, which will be the fourth time Ferguson has been scheduled to meet Nurmagomedov after three previous attempts have failed.