"Tony, you had your chance and you missed it, and that's your fault only."
Khabib Nurmagomedov wasn't in a playful mood last night when jumped on Instagram to admonish Lightweight contender Tony Ferguson who just recently ruled against participating in a dignitary fight, while the Dagestani fighter remains sidelined while he serves his Nevada State suspension.
"Tony, you had your chance and you missed it, and that's your fault only," Nurmagomedov wrote on Instagram. "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."
According to UFC president Dana White, Tony Ferguson refused to dignify an offer to fight Max Holloway, because he'd much rather prepare for an inevitable clash with Khabib. Dana White did openly state at the beginning of the month, that Ferguson was the clear #1 contender for the Lightweight belt, pending the reduction of Khabib's Nevada State suspension.
Ferguson would much prefer the UFC strip Khabib of his title, thus making it available in a contest waged between the #1 and #2 Lightweights on the active roster - that option doesn't appear to be on the table.
Dustin Poirier will take interim spot rebuffed by Ferguson, against Max Holloway at UFC 236 in Atlanta. Khabib Nurmagomedov is eligible to return as of the 6th of July this year but is keen on waiting until the fall to mark his return. There's a belief that Khabib is posturing for the UFC card destined for New York City in November.