Tony Ferguson told reporters Friday that a lightweight title fight with Conor McGregor was on the table, but The Notorious ultimately turned down UFC's offer.
"They offered me Conor and Conor didn't want to fight," Ferguson said, according to ESPN.com's Arash Markazi.
Instead, Ferguson will square off against Khabib Nurmagomedov at UFC 223 in April.
UFC president Dana White also confirmed Friday that Ferguson—UFC's current interim lightweight champion—and Nurmagomedov will square off for the undisputed title. But as MMA Fighting's Shaheen Al-Shatti noted, White stopped short of saying McGregor would be stripped of his lightweight belt.
"I have no update," White said of McGregor's upcoming schedule, per the Daily Express' Chisanga Malata. "The winner of Khabib-Ferguson will be the champion.
"They're going to fight for the real title. This is the real title. I said that Conor can't hold up the title for two years."
McGregor's last appearance came in the Octagon came in November 2016, when he defeated Eddie Alvarez via second-round knockout at UFC 205.
The Irishman then shifted his attention to a high-profile boxing match with Floyd Mayweather Jr.
McGregor has yet to disclose when he will return to UFC, but White recently disclosed "that he's thinking about coming back in September," he said, per Malata.