The UFC 209 co-main event between Tony Ferguson and Khabib Nurmagomedov may be cancelled, but Ferguson sounds more concerned with Khabib’s recovery than losing the opportunity to fight.
Weigh-ins have not been kind to MMA this week. What was supposed to be a reasonably strong Bellator offering this Friday night on Spike TV has been torn down to a single notable bout and some “stuff” following the promotions weigh-ins on Thursday. And what was supposed to be the best UFC card of 2017 so far (and honestly still is) just hit a major downgrade as the co-main event fight between Tony Ferguson and Khabib Nurmagomedov was cancelled just a day out when Khabib was taken to the hospital and missed weigh-ins.
Khabib vs. Ferguson wasn’t just a cool fight on a big card, it was/is one of the absolute best fights that could be made in the sport today. Two top fighters with wildly different technical games competing in their absolute prime. So, when the fight got cancelled so close to the event, fans may have expected Ferguson to lash out at his opponent for failing to get to the scale. But, that’s not the approach he’s taking.
Ferguson took to twitter when news broke that Khabib had been taken to the hospital, to wish his opponent well and pray for his recovery.
@TeamKhabib I Hope U Feel Better Khabib, I Pray For Your Recovery, I Mean It, Get Better #Road2Gold #TonyFergusonMMA #UFC209 @ufc @danawhite
— Tony Ferguson (@TonyFergusonXT) March 3, 2017
Of course, this isn’t the first time Khabib and Ferguson have failed to make it to fight night. The two men were first booked to face off at the TUF 22 Finale in December of 2015, before Khabib was removed due to a rib injury. The bout was scheduled for a second time for UFC on FOX 19 in April of 2016, but Ferguson was removed just over a week before the fight, due to fluid buildup in his lungs.
Considering that Khabib probably won’t be facing a long-term layoff after being pulled from UFC 209, there’s always a chance that the UFC could re-book the fight for an upcoming card. Then again, at this point the bout may just be cursed.
UFC 209 takes place this Saturday, March 4th, in Las Vegas, Nevada. It will be headlined by a welterweight title rematch, as champion Tyron Woodley defends his belt against Stephen Thompson, following their 2016 draw. Stay tuned to Bloody Elbow for more news and updates.