UFC 279: Tony Ferguson Believes He Can Lure Khabib Out of Retirement

Las Vegas, NV — Former UFC interim lightweight champ and fan favorite Tony Ferguson moves to welterweight this weekend at UFC 279. It’s a return to the weight class for “El Cucuy,” who fought at 170 earlier in his career.

But as is often the case with Ferguson, while he’s matched up with Li Jingliang this Saturday, questions about rival Khabib Nurmagomedov are never far behind. In particular, about a warmly received proposal to have the pair coach on The Ultimate Fighter.

According to Ferguson, speaking at the UFC 279 media day, he actually has the green light to coach on the show. The hold up, if there is one, is on Nurmagomedov’s side.

“We got the green light, bro. We’re waiting on Khabib’s fat ass,” said Ferguson, who then caught himself actually saying Nurmagomedov’s name. “We’re waiting on fathead’s fat ass.”

Ferguson went on to explain to media outlets including Cageside Press that “We got the green light from the brass, went and talked to Dana. We got the green light from his coach. We got the green light from his agent; his agent comes up and tries to hug me, he was all in pink, f*cking looked like Pinky from Friday, was funny as f*ck.”

As Ferguson recalled, Nurmagomedov’s manager “comes up, he’s like ‘let’s do this.'”

“In reality, we’re just waiting for Khabib’s fat ass. He’s the one that’s scared. Regardless of it’s a fight or not, we’ll go and coach, and I’m sure we’ll make it entertaining. I’m sure he’ll break before the fighters on that team. I’ve still got some good material that I haven’t used yet, so I’m just waiting for that day.”

And while the gig may only be to coach, with no fight at the end of the season, Ferguson believes he can lure Khabib back to the cage.

“I am to one to get him out of retirement. That dude’s not retired,” Ferguson opined. “When it comes down to it, when you lose somebody, you have to take some time off, you have to think and do whatever you have to do. But his father had said that the fight to make would be myself and Khabib. Before he passed away, he did say that, and Khabib has that in his mindset.”

First up, however, there’s UFC 279. “This weekend is UFC 279 against Li Jingliang. He’s from China, he’s a tough motherf*cker and I’m going to go in there and have my hand raised in victory. Ankle pick.”

Watch the full UFC 279 media day appearance by Tony Ferguson above.