FRIDAY NEWS DIGEST 3/3: Ferguson explains why he wouldn’t face Michael Johnson as late replacement for Nurmagomedov (w/Hiscoe’s Analysis)

By Michael Hiscoe, MMATorch contributor

Tony Ferguson (photo credit Etzel Espinosa © PWTorch)

The UFC has officially ruled Tony Ferguson out of competition for UFC 209 tomorrow night.

When news broke that Khabib Nurmagomedov had been hospitalized and could not compete, rumors circulated that Ferguson would face a last minute replacement. However, when fellow lightweight competitor Michael Johnson tweeted that he had volunteered to fight on short notice but that Ferguson declined, Ferguson clarified that he would only fight for the title and that taking a last minute fight would result in a lower purse amount.

“He remembers the last time I whooped his ass!” Johnson told TMZ. He said he understands why Ferguson would turn down the opportunity, though. “It’s a risky fight for him,” he said, referencing the fact that Ferguson’s only UFC loss is to him back in 2012.

Ferguson also wished Nurmagomedov a speedy recovery via Twitter.

Cervantes Analysis: Not sure why but I had a feeling this morning that something was gonna shake up this fight. Nurmagomedov has a history of injuries and dropping out of fights and it’s the reason why it’s taken him so long to get this opportunity. Unfortunately, this may mean he’ll have to take another fight before being granted another shot at the belt. The situation is even worse for Ferguson and, though I’m no fan of his, I feel for him on this one. To work so long and hard to finally earn a shot and to have the fight scrapped the day of must be agonizing.


-Despite rumors that Conor McGregor and St. Pierre were targeting a fight, Dana White said it was never close to happening, according to MMA Fighting.

-On his podcast, Michael Bisping says he plans on defending his title two more times before he retires. He has to win the first fight before he can aim for a second, of course.

-Ronda Rousey got good reviews for her guest star role on “Blindspot.” Sullivan Stapleton told Rousey was cool behind the scenes and a good actor. “She fits right in,” Stapleton told TMZ. “I want her to train me!”

NOW CHECK OUT YESTERDAY’S UPDATE: THURSDAY NEWS DIGEST 3/2: Bisping takes offense at notion that GSP picked to fight him because he think he’s easy win (w/Hiscoe’s Analysis)


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