We’ll never see Khabib Nurmagomedov and Tony Ferguson compete inside the Octagon as originally planned on numerous occasions but coaching against each other is always a possibility.
While Ferguson remains an active competitor in Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC), the flawless Nurmagomedov (29-0) hung up the gloves after his third consecutive title defense in Oct. 2020 when submitting Justin Gaethje via second-round triangle choke at UFC 254 (watch highlights). Stringing together a 12-fight winning streak at his best, Ferguson was supposed to face Nurmagomedov on four different dates throughout that run. A winner of The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) 13, “El Cucuy” thinks a revisit to the program may be the best way for them to finally put a stamp on their cursed rivalry.
“I believe when his dad said we were supposed to compete, I believe that,” Ferguson told The MMA Hour. “I would love to be able to coach against him on The Ultimate Fighter. … It doesn’t matter what game we play, it would be cool to go out there, shake the dude’s hand, kinda squash some beef, and move on.”
Getting more heavily involved in the coaching side of the sport during retirement, Nurmagomedov would make for a great option to aid up-and-comers on TUF. On Tuesday (May 17, 2022), Nurmagomedov made it clear he’s open to the idea.
“Tony I like the idea about TUF, call your bosses and let them make an offer, but if they don’t have ideas, I myself will offer you a deal on the @EagleFightClub platform, we doing some business here you know,” Nurmagomedov tweeted.
Following his recent loss to Michael Chandler at UFC 274 (watch highlights), Ferguson revealed he was close to retirement himself had it not been for his early success in the bout. Now, he’ll look to snap a four-fight skid his next time out after serving his 60-day medical suspension.