Before we begin with this opinion piece, this note regarding the Professional Fighters League’s third season:
The Associated Press reported Wednesday night that the PFL’s 2020 season, due to begin on May 21 with PFL 1, is delayed indefinitely in light of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
Armchair will keep you apprised of the latest details relating to adjustments in the mixed martial arts calendar due to the coronavirus.
Onward to our main focus today:
It appears that the fifth time will not be the charm for Khabib Nurmagomedov vs. Tony Ferguson in the Ultimate Fighting Championship’s Lightweight division.
On Wednesday, Nurmagomedov officially announced that he’d no longer be taking part in the UFC 249 headliner two weeks from this Saturday night at a location to be revealed.
Stand-up comedian Joe Rogan said in a recent episode of his podcast:
“This fight is so cursed.”
The word “cursed” doesn’t even begin to describe how unfortunate the UFC has been in trying to get this fight off the ground.
The UFC’s luck with this pairing is comparable to that of the NFL’s Cleveland Browns in the years before drafting quarterback Baker Mayfield.
Tony Ferguson appeared on Wednesday evening’s SportsCenter broadcast, joining ESPN’s Ariel Helwani via video chat and ranted on his opponent’s withdrawal from the main event, saying:
“The guy does not want to fight. He’s scared, he’s running. He should be stripped of his title.”
The full interview with Helwani and Ferguson can be viewed on the former’s Instagram page:
This is, without a doubt, the worst, most sophomoric reaction to a cancellation of an MMA fight that I have heard in a long while, maybe ever.
By withdrawing from the fight, Khabib Nurmagomedov is not scared, nor is he running away from Tony Ferguson in the least bit.
There is a complete travel ban on flights in Nurmagomedov’s home country of Russia, and due to the ban, it’s impossible for him to leave to complete his training camp in time for the fight in two weeks—even though these restrictions have, in fact, loosened slightly.
Russia’s travel ban has been amended in cases of private flights to the United States, though air carriers would need to obtain government permission.
Getting back to the Ferguson interview, it’s even worse that I saw comments on the post supporting his opinion about the cancellation.
In my opinion, the people who are supporting Tony Ferguson’s position on this issue are just as bad as Ferguson himself.
I believe that Tony Ferguson’s comments on this matter are completely and unequivocally disgusting.
In my opinion, UFC President Dana White should fine Ferguson in light of these comments.
Gambling this season? Want to try it just to see what it feels like? Go to MyBookie.ag and use promo code ARMCHAIR25 at checkout. They will match your deposit dollar for dollar. Putting in $100? You’ll now have $200.