Photo by Damon Martin

Conor McGregor’s Coach Has ‘Horrible Feeling’ Ferguson vs. Nurmagomedov Won’t Happen

John Kavanagh says he's excited at seeing a fight between Tony Ferguson and Khabib Nurmgomedov but he's not sure it's actually going to happen.

After three previous attempts to make the fight happen to no avail, John Kavanagh can’t help but be skeptical that he’ll actually witness Tony Ferguson face Khabib Nurmagomedov at UFC 223 on April 7 in New York.

A pair of injuries and a weight cutting disaster have cancelled the three previous fights, but Ferguson and Nurmagomedov are once again on a collision course to meet in less than two months time in one of the most highly anticipated bouts of 2018.

Kavanagh, who serves as UFC lightweight champion Conor McGregor’s head coach, obviously has a vested interest in the fight but he just has a bad feeling lightning is going to strike again.

“I’m looking forward to watching that fight — if it happens,” Kavanagh told “This is the fourth time it’s being scheduled. I have a horrible feeling it’s not gonna happen. I have a really horrible feeling it’s not gonna happen. I really hope it does.

“Putting Conor completely out of the picture, it’s just a very interesting fight. As somebody that’s a fan of grappling, it’s a very interesting matchup with a looser, submission heavy game versus a tight control game. That to me is just a fight that’s very, very interesting for me to see. I hope I’m wrong on this one but I just see it falling apart.”

Assuming the fight between Ferguson and Nurmagomedov does take place, the bout is being touted as a lightweight championship fight yet no one knows for certain if it’s the undisputed title on the line or if it’s just an interim title matchup?

UFC president Dana White couldn’t give a clear answer when first announcing the fight back in January because for the bout to be for the undisputed title that means McGregor would be stripped of his lightweight championship and that hasn’t happened yet.

Perhaps the UFC is hedging its bets to officially strip McGregor of his belt after the fight between Ferguson and Nurmagomedov takes place, but either way Kavanagh knows the winner will still have questions about whether or not they are truly the best in the division.

“Is it for the real title or not? I think that’s the question for fans on forums to decide. That’s the fun of the game. You’re watching is it for the title, is it not. I think the reality is, no matter what anyone says, is the winner of that contest will not feel quite there until they beat Conor and that’s just a given,” Kavanagh said.

“They won’t feel quite there financially or won’t answer the questions that they themselves have or fans have.”

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Damon Martin is a veteran mixed martial arts journalist who has been covering the industry since 2003 with bylines on FOX Sports, CNN, Bleacher Report and numerous other outlets.