Two of the greatest lightweight fighters to ever step into the Octagon will finally meet in April at UFC 249. UFC Lightweight Champion Khabib “The Eagle” Nurmagomedov is scheduled to defend his title against the #1 contender Tony “El Cucuy” Ferguson. Both men have outstanding MMA records: The Eagle has an undefeated professional record of 28-0 and El Cucuy’s is 25-3.
Nurmagomedov and Ferguson are regarded as the best two lightweights in the world, and it’s a fight that has been a long time in the making. The pair have been scheduled to lock horns four other times, and each time the fight has fallen through.
During the UFC 249 presser on March 6, Tony Ferguson was asked about the idea of him being overshadowed by Conor “Notorious” McGregor. Since his January return to the Octagon, McGregor has been constantly talked about by the media, fans and analysts about sliding into the title fight if one of the fighters gets hurt.
In typical El Cucuy fashion, with a smirk on his face, he responded, “I haven’t heard sh*t, I’m too busy man. My academy has been built by my bare hands.” He then segued into talking about Khabib, without another mention of McGregor.
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Ferguson Has Been Overlooked By Some
Some feel that Ferguson has been overlooked, and he seemingly has not been fazed by that. During the presser, the question of McGregor being the replacement came up, but Dana White shot it down quickly, wanting to move on without the idea of the one of the fighters pulling out.
However, there may be a chance that McGregor is the contingency plan if one of the men do pull out. He is currently not booked for another fight, and because the fight between The Eagle and El Cucuy has been called off four times, the UFC may have taken the steps to ensure they have a main event for UFC 249 should something happen.
El Cucuy & The Eagle Have Dominated The Lightweight Division For Years
The top two lightweights in the world are currently Nurmagomedov and Ferguson, and that has been the case for a long time. Both fighters are on a sensational 12-fight win streak, the longest in UFC lightweight history. The match between the two is one of the most anticipated fights of this year.
Khabib’s last three victories are over some the divisional best, including Dustin Porier, Conor McGregor and Al Iaquinta. The Eagle’s fight against El Cucuy will be his third title defense since winning the belt at UFC 223 in April of 2018.
In his last three victories, Ferguson finished Donald Cerrone, Anthony Pettis and Kevin Lee. He won the interim lightweight belt at UFC 216 in October of 2017, but was later stripped due to injury.