UFC 209 has come and gone, now that the dust has settled, we have a look at the aftermath and fallout from the pay-per-view. The biggest story of the night came before the actual card started, Khabib Nurmagomedov was withdrawn from his bout with Tony Ferguson, after being hospitalised prior to the weigh in. We have since had statments from Dana White and Team Khabib camp but we haven’t heard anything from him until now. After all the drama prior to the card, what’s next Khabib? And where does Tony Ferguson go from here?
The main story of UFC 209 was when Khabib Nurmagomedov’s fight against Tony Ferguson, for the Interim Lightweight Belt, was cancelled after Khabib was hospitalised. It has now been confirmed that Nurmagomedov was struggling to make the 155lbs limit and was taken to A&E after he started to feel unwell prior to the early weigh in on Friday. According to the UFC president Dana white, Team Khabib did not follow protocol by not informing him, which ultimately left UFC officials no time to find a replacement with the news of Khabib’s problems coming so late.
Eddie Alvarez & Micheal Johnson were both rumoured to have been in contact with Dana White, to try to work out a deal, however it has been confirmed that Tony Ferguson did not accept the terms and chose not to fight on the card. This was mainly because of the money that was on offer was less that he expected, which meant that there was no financial gain, as well as if Tony did lose he would forfeit his position in the rankings. Ferguson attended the show and gestured that he wanted Connor McGregor for his next fight, this is unlikely as he did not feature on the card, as well as publicly criticise the UFC for not offering him more money to fight a replacement. He will probably go on to fight another contender in the division as the fight with McGregor doesn’t make sence at the moment.
Khabib finally broke his silence yesterday when he sent out a post to his fans on Instagram appoligsing to Tony Ferguson and vowed to come back to challenge for the belt. Many have called for rules to be put in place for fighters who are struggling to make-weight, to protect the fighters, as well as protect the interests of the promotion. There have been multiple fights that have fallen through lately, with UFC officials managing to save some events, but fans have called for new regulations so they can see the fights that they anticipated. This has been welcomed by outsiders in the sport who believe extreme weight cutting is bad and could cause harm to the individual in the future. The measures fighters put themselves through to boil down to a certain weight is horrific, this has been an issue in all combat sports, but has never caused an issue up until now with more and more cases.
The best layed plans are always floored, many expected Khabib to beat Ferguson, then go on to headline the first fight card in Russia against McGregor later on in the year for the belt. Khabib can certainly forget about stepping in to the ocatagon, with Connor Mcgegor who previously called Nurmagomedov a “pullout merchant”, maybe he knew something we didn’t. Mystic Mac, as Mcgegor calls himself, is known for his predictions and has always stated that a fight with Khabib is unlikely due to his inactivity. Another fight with Tony Ferguson seems unlikely with Dana White confirming that Khabib needs a rest from his back to back weight cuts. Some have predicted that Khabib may move up to welterweight after struggling to make the 155lbs limit but we will just have to wait and see.
Check back here as we follow this story as it unfolds.