If you weren’t already excited for the UFC 209 co-main event, then Khabib Nurmagomedov and Tony Ferguson gave a decent attempt to change your mind during today’s media call.
The two didn’t take long to engage in a vicious war of words, shooting accusations back and forth regarding a number of topics (including padded records, terrible cardio and breaking faces). The two have been scheduled to face one and other three times now, but their meeting on March 4 shall be their first.
The occasion certainly doesn’t seem lost on either man, and the bad blood — something that has always been an undercurrent to this fight — has become obvious.
“This guy has no chance against my wrestling, dude,” Ferguson said. “He thinks Sambo is awesome, I got respect for the sport, I got respect for where he comes from, but my wrestling is far superior and my style is just completely different to his. I’m going to run circles all over this guy.”
“I have one question,” Nurmagomedov responded. “If you so confident like this, why did you try running away from this fight? Why? I make this fight.”
“There’s nobody running away from this fight,” Ferguson said. “There’s nobody running away from you, how dare you. You’re a punk. You’re a bully, you’re a fucking bully just like everybody else at AKA. All you guys do is talk shit … you and your fans talk too much. I’m going to kick your ass, Khabib.”
The two then descended into a debate about why Ferguson wouldn’t accept the fight immediately, with reports having emerged that the American had requested for more money from the UFC. While Ferguson pointed to a nine fight win streak and wanting fair compensation, it was a concession that the Russian was quick to jump on.
“I don’t give a shit about money,” Nurmagomedov said. “I want to break your face, and I want to break your heart. I bring you [to this fight]. I bring you. … I can take other, easy fight, I said ‘please I need tough fight’, but you never ask about a fight with me. You never asked, you tried to run away. ‘Please give me money’, you know why you ask for money because you know this is your last fight. This is your last fight in the UFC. I’m going to break your face, I’m going to break your career.”