Bengaluru, April 3: Khabib Nurmagomedov's show down with Tony Ferguson is the dream fight every MMA fan wants to see but frustratingly the bout has never come into frutition.
With the fight between the pair being cancelled for the fifth time in a row, people are calling the bout 'cursed'.
While, the previous four bouts were due to injuries forcing out either fighters, the most recent was due to the coronavirus pandemic, which has brought the sporting world to a halt.
Lightweight champion Khabib pulled out of the fight against Ferguson at UFC 249 in Brooklyn on April 18, due to travel restrictions caused by the spread of COVID-19.
Here is a look at each of the times this fight was cancelled:
TUF 22 Finale: December 2015
In August 2015, UFC booked two of its brightest lightweights to get it on at the finale of the 22nd season of 'The Ultimate Fighter' in December. However, two months before the fight in October, Khabib - who had worked his way back from two serious knee injuries - suffered a broken rib that left him pondering if he would fight again.
UFC on FOX 19: April 2016
The following year, Khabib-Ferguson was booked for the UFC on Fox card set for April 16. But, just 11 days before the event, it was Ferguson's turn to be struck by injury woe as a lung issue prevented him from getting in the Octagon.
UFC 209: March 2017
The pair were booked in the co-main event of UFC 209 for the interim lightweight title as the champion Conor McGregor was on an MMA hiatus to prepare for his boxing bout with Floyd Mayweather Jr. But a day prior to the showdown, Khabib was hospitalised due to a bad weight cut.
UFC 223: April 2018
The promotion announced Khabib versus Ferguson for the main event of UFC 223. But, the fight was cancelled due to a bizzare reason. Ferguson required surgery on his lateral collateral ligament after tripping on cables during a media event just days before the bout.
UFC 249: April 2020
In the wake of coronavirus pandemic, there were doubts whether the fight would go on and it was becoming increasingly unlikely. It came as little surprise when Khabib pulled out, stating he was unable to travel. Ferguson may still have an opponent with Jorge Masvidal, Dustin Poirier and Justin Gaethje having all been suggested as stand-ins. But as it stands, the fight we all want to see is still a distant dream.
(With OPTA inputs)