Khabib Nurmagomedov may be the UFC Lightweight Champion right now, one fighter in Ferguson says that the winner of the UFC 249 main event is the real lightweight champion.
“(Expletive) Khabib,” Ferguson said during the UFC 249 Conference Call (via Mike Bohn of MMA Junkie). “I’m defending my belt for the third time. This is for the real belt, this is not for an interim title. This is for the real championship (expletive). It’s champ (expletive) only, buddy.”
The winner of the UFC 249 main event is expected to face Nurmagomedov, with the bout possibly taking place this Fall.
Gaethje sees the interim title as the path to get his shot at the UFC Lightweight Champion.
“The interim belt means for me that you’ll be recognized as the No. 2 man in the world,” Gaethje said. “Khabib can’t fight right now, so these are the two baddest man in the weight class fighting this weekend for the right to call themselves the best then ultimately challenge Khabib. I think we’re fighting for the opportunity to represent America against Khabib. That’s what I’m fighting for.”
UFC 249 takes place on Saturday, May 9 from the VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena in Jacksonville, Florida with Tony Ferguson and Justin Gaethje headlining. Fightful is providing live coverage of the event, with a post-show podcast to follow.