When the UFC announced that Tony Ferguson was going to fight Kevin Lee for an interim 155 title, and not Khabib Nurmagomedov, Dana White reported it was because the latter wasn’t going to be ready. Now, another of the UFC’s top execs is relaying the same thing.
In advance of next Saturday’s UFC 216, the promotion recently posted a “Watch List” video, which featured UFC matchmakers Sean Shelby and Mick Maynard. While discussing the fact that Ferguson is going to face Lee on October 7th, and not Nurmagomedov, Shelby said this (quote via MMA Junkie):
“Just to clear things up, a fight was offered to Nurmagomedov on Nov. 4 (at UFC 217), and at that point, we were trying to put cards together toward the end of the year,” said Shelby. “I was informed that (Nurmagomedov) could not make that date, and he probably wouldn’t be able to fight until at least December, so that left Tony without a dance partner.”
There you have it. Hopefully Nurmagomedov and Ferguson cross paths at some point. The contenders have been booked to fight three times now, only to have the bouts fall through.