Former UFC Interim Lightweight Champion Tony Ferguson will challenge UFC Lightweight Champion Khabib Nurmagomedov for the title in the main event of UFC 249.
If there was one word that Ferguson would use to describe the negotiation process for the title bout, it would be “unpleasant.”
“The manner that they did it really wasn’t the way I wanted to go, so it made the week kind of unpleasant,” Ferguson said on Ariel Helwani’s MMA Show (via MMA Junkie). “It puts my fans through the freakin’ ringer, but they kept it lighthearted for me. It was about as smooth as a bumpy road, but we got to our destination, which was cool.”
The duo of Ferguson and Nurmagomedov were scheduled to meet multiple times in the UFC, but injuries and other issues have prevented the two from actually meeting in the Octagon.
Ferguson would be the first to admit that the process of negotiating with the UFC didn’t go the way he had envisioned it.
“The process wasn’t the way I envisioned it going,” Ferguson said. “That’s why I wanted to sit down with the UFC. It’s about time we actually started having conversations and me being a little more personable with the company. It went good. I can’t say that it went bad. It just took time and was a process. I’m just lucky I had my agents there who have my back, so it’s cool to have that.”
UFC 249 takes place on Saturday, April 18 from the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York with Khabib Nurmagomedov and Tony Ferguson headlining. Fightful is providing live coverage of the event, with a post-show podcast to follow.