Tony Ferguson claims he will fight Khabib Nurmagomedov before UFC retirement with 'cursed' clash axed five times

TONY FERGUSON is adamant he will finally fight Khabib Nurmagomedov having had five fights axed between them.

Lightweight champion Nurmagomedov admitted he doubts he will ever face Ferguson following the American's defeat in May.

Justin Gaethje was only afforded the interim title bout after Russian Khabib was ruled out through travel restrictions.

Gaethje, 31, now unifies the belt against Nurmagomedov, 32, on Fight Island this Saturday, leaving Ferguson out in the cold.

But the 36-year-old slammed the suggestion that fighting Khabib is now dead in the water.

Ferguson told ESPN: "I see fear in his voice if he thinks he has to talk bad about people. "He can't put that s*** in my head.

"I will fight Khabib at one point or another. He will see me before he retires. We'll make that a point.

"I think everybody is writing me off after one loss, and f*** them. The casual fan base is trying to, but my hard-core fans are too much.

"They know too much. My value is way too much."

Ferguson was battered by Gaethje at UFC 249, a loss Nurmagomedov believes is too brutal to overcome.

Khabib said: "Nobody can be the same for a long time — one day, somebody is going to beat you, something is going to happen.

"God doesn't give nobody the power, reaction, mental, one level, always.

"One day you're going to go down and his day come. It was May. Tony Ferguson is finished now.

"He's going to come back, and someone is going to beat him again, I believe.

"Because when you take damage like this, you're never going to be the same. Never. Even if you're Tony Ferguson."

Ferguson and Nurmagomedov were first meant to fight in 2015 and then every year up until 2019.

Fight No5 was set to happen this April in New York, but lockdown forced the UFC to try and find a new venue.

As the event was moved to Florida, Nurmagomedov was unable to travel out of Russia.

Despite the cursed match-up threatening to strike once more, UFC president Dana White has not given up hope if Ferguson can return with a win.

White told Sports Illustrated: "If Khabib does beat Gaethje, you get Tony Ferguson another fight ,which we’re working on right now.

"And hopefully that fight with Khabib [and Ferguson] happens because I know people want to see it.

"I don’t think I’ve ever seen a fight fall apart as many times as those two.

"It almost scares me to make the fight again. What’s going to happen? An asteroid comes to earth? That’s the level of bad this thing is."

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