UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov isn't about to feel sorry for Tony Ferguson after Ferguson turned down a fight for the interim lightweight crown.
Nurmagomedov weighed in with his opinion on the matter in an Instagram post:
"Tony you had your chance and you missed it, and that’s your fault only. You know that I’m disqualified and can’t fight, but it’s not fair to strip me off the title, I fought 3 times in 9 months. I won and defended my belt.
As a fighter you deserve a title fight, you are great fighter and opponent, but now you have to fight or wait for my DQ to be over and fight(but UFC doesn’t want it). I don’t understand your offenses, if you fell down, you got to get up, not complain."
Nurmagomedov successfully defended the lightweight title against Conor McGregor at UFC 229 last October. He subsequently received a nine-month suspension following the post-fight brawl that spilled over into the crowd at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.
Okamoto noted Nurmagomedov could've trimmed three months off of his punishment if he took part in an anti-bullying ad, but the 30-year-old "does not intend to return until this fall."
On merit, Ferguson deserves a shot at Nurmagomedov. He's listed as the No. 1 contender in UFC's official lightweight rankings, and he's riding an 11-fight winning streak. Ferguson is 24-3 in his mixed martial arts career, with his last defeat coming in May 2012.
In addition, UFC has lined up Ferguson vs. Nurmagomedov on four separate occasions only to have unforeseen circumstances force a change.
If Ferguson wants a crack at Nurmagomedov now, though, he basically has to play the waiting game. Ferguson won't get his wish until July at the earliest, and that's assuming Nurmagomedov steps right back into the Octagon as soon as he's eligible.