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Dana White isn’t confident the long-awaited matchup between Khabib Nurmagmedov and Tony Ferguson will come to fruition in 2020.

During an “Ask Me Anything” on Reddit on Wednesday, White was asked if he expected to see UFC lightweight champ Nurmagmedov (28-0 MMA, 12-0 UFC) fight challenger Ferguson before the year rounds out.

“How confident are you that Khabib and Tony will fight at some point this year?” White was asked by a commenter.

“Not very.” White said, following up with, “I’m afraid of what will happen next if we try to make that happen again.”

Ferguson (25-3 MMA, 15-1 UFC) is currently scheduled to fight Justin Gaethje for the interim UFC lightweight title at UFC 249 on May 9. Gaethje is stepping in for Nurmagomedov, who was originally scheduled to fight Ferguson on April 18 prior to the coronavirus pandemic’s interference in Russian travel.

Nurmagomedov recognizes the muslim holiday of Ramadan, which limits months in which he can fight. This year, the period of fasting runs from April 23 to May 23. Nurmagomedov has hinted he is eying a September return.

The Nurmagomedov vs. Ferguson matchup has been booked five times – and five times it’s been canceled. The pairing was first made for the The Ultimate Fighter 22 Finale in December 2015, but Nurmagomedov withdrew due to a rib injury. The fight was rebooked for UFC on FOX 19 in April 2016. This time, it was Ferguson who pulled out due to injury.

The third time was not the charm. At UFC 209 in March 2017, Nurmagomedov was hospitalized due to weight cut complications and the fight was scrapped. In the lead-up to the UFC’s fourth attempt at booking the fight, Ferguson tore a ligament in his knee. As a result, UFC 223 lost it’s headliner in early 2018.



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