If Khabib Nurmagomedov has ruled out returning as an active fighter, UFC president Dana White appears to be looking for the next best thing after he confirmed his interest in the undefeated Russian star training on the next season of popular reality series ‘The Ultimate Fighter’. .

Last month, Khabib’s old rival Tony Ferguson floated the idea of ​​training opposite the fighter he was lined up to fight on multiple occasions before fate (or multiple injuries, depending on his opinion), and Nurmagomedov was quick to indicate his interest. On twitter.

«Tony I like the idea of ​​TUF, call your bosses and let them make you an offerKhabib wrote in response, before adding that he would also welcome Ferguson to his Eagle FC fighting league.

“But if you have no ideas, I’ll offer you a deal on the Eagle FC platform myself, we’re doing some business here, you know?.”

And after the two longtime lightweight rivals seemed to strike a deal, UFC boss Dana White has also expressed interest.

“So you’re telling me, do you guys as fans, media, whatever, like the idea of ​​two guys possibly training that they don’t fight each other?White dijo a The Spinning Backfist MMA Show.

If a deal were to be struck, it would represent something of a proxy war between two fighters who have led the rankings at 155 pounds for much of the last ten years, and both had 12-fight win streaks in the ultra-competitive lightweight division. UFC. .

However, Ferguson has seen a drop in results since suffering a TKO loss to Justin Gaethje in 2020 and has now lost four fights in a row, the most recent of which was a devastating knockout loss against Michael Chandler.

However, both remain highly respected figures in mixed martial arts, with Dana White adding that he probably couldn’t resist an attempt to convince Khabib to return for one final fight in the Octagon.

“Hopefully they’ll get mad enough at each other to want to fight and I can force them to fight.”, White said.

“I’m inside. You sold me.”

But if the plan comes to fruition, don’t expect Nurmagomedov to don the 4-ounce gloves one last time.

“There have been no negotiations regarding participation in The Ultimate Fighter with Ferguson. As for the fight, Khabib is not coming back. he has already retired”, a member of the Russian’s inner circle told the TASS news agency.

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