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Ferguson and Khabib looked set to meet no less than five times throughout their UFC careers. But the contest kept falling through for one reason after another, leading fans to label it cursed.
The last blow came when Ferguson lost an interim lightweight title fight to Justin Gaethje in May - which led to Gaethje getting the shot at Khabib at UFC 254. After 'The Eagle' choked out Gaethje to move his MMA record to 29-0, he made a surprising and emotional retirement speech in the Octagon.
Now UFC have shared a reaction compilation of fight figures taking in that famous post-fight interview live - and Ferguson simply cannot sit and watch.
"Ah, f**k," says a sunglasses-wearing 'El Cucuy' before he gets up and storms away from the screen on hearing that this was Khabib's last fight. He then lets loose a louder "f**k!" which alarms even his dog.
Clearly, the 36-year-old was absolutely determined to eventually meet Khabib in the Octagon. You can understand why his mind was set on it given how close the pair came to squaring off.
They were originally set to meet in 2015. However injuries to both men, a global pandemic and even Khabib being hospitalised just before a pre-fight weigh-in (due to the effects of his weight cut) meant the fight was cancelled again and again over the years.
Now we will likely never see Ferguson vs Nurmagomedov - and fans have shown their sympathy with the American for never getting his dream fight, despite at one point putting together a 12-fight winning streak.
"The fight that got away [heartbreak]," responded a UFC fan on Twitter.
"Man this makes me even want to see Khabib x Ferguson even more," said another.
Even the dog was like "Oh Shit!"- Vanessa Kay (@itsvanessakay98) December 12, 2020
Man this makes me even want to see Khabib x Ferguson even more :sob:- Colin:christmas_tree: (@MMAColin) December 12, 2020
Every other lightweight: FUCK YEAH HE RETIRED!!!!!!!!!- Nate D (@NateDouville) December 12, 2020
Tony: FUCK!!!!!!!!!! he retired.
The Fight that got away :broken_heart: pic.twitter.com/YKDIcBSu9j- Sasuke ➐:christmas_tree: (@UFC_Sasuke) December 12, 2020
Ferguson makes his return to the Octagon this weekend at UFC 256 as he fights Brazilian Charles Oliveira. A win keeps Ferguson among the elite lightweights and in with a shot at a fight for the belt vacated by Khabib.
But that bout won't come against Nurmagomedov - and Ferguson is, it seems, fairly f**ked off about that.
Featured image credit: UFC/BT Sport
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