Khabib Nurmagomedov has revealed he expects his lightweight title defence against Tony Ferguson to take place in April.
During the UFC 244 post-fight press conference, UFC president Dana White revealed the promotion is looking for Nurmagomedov vs Ferguson to take place in March or April.
Nurmagomedov confirmed White’s comments during a press conference in Moscow on Friday, in which he revealed the UFC brass want the fight to take place in Las Vegas in March.
‘The Eagle’, however, has no intention of setting foot in Sin City until the Nevada State Athletic Commission apologise for fining him for his actions after his UFC 229 grudge match with Conor McGregor last October.
“We’re in talks now,” said the 30-year-old. “They suggested having it in Vegas in March, but they have to issue me an official apology for fining me for the incident on 6 October, 2018. If they apologise, I’ll fight. If not, we’ll pick another venue.
“I’ll fight in April in New York. I’ll be ready in April – March if Vegas apologizes or gives me back my money. Those are my conditions. We’re in talks now.”
Nurmagomedov, of course, had half of his £1,566,000 purse ($2million) for his showdown with McGregor withheld by the NSAC for leaping out of the Octagon and attempting to attack Dillon Danis – an act that sparked a mass brawl.
The commission ended up fining the Russian £369,000 ($500,000) and suspending him for nine months.
McGregor, however, was only handed a £36,900 ($50,000) fine and banned for six months for his part in the post-fight melee.
Nurmagomedov’s confirmation of negotiations for him to face Ferguson will be welcome news to mixed martial arts fans across the globe.
The pair have been scheduled to face one another a staggering four times but have yet to share the Octagon.
Injuries, weight-cutting issues and a freak knee injury have prevented the duo from exchanging blows.
They were most recently slated to fight at UFC 223 in April 2018.
However, an accident for Ferguson at the UFC’s FOX studios, where he tripped on a wire and tore the fibular collateral ligament in his left knee a matter of days before the card, led to the unfortunate cancellation of the fight.
Nurmagomedov, 28-0, was last in action in September at UFC 241 in Abu Dhabi, where he registered his second successful defence of the lightweight title with a third-round submission victory over Dustin Poirier.
Ferguson, meanwhile, last fought in June at UFC 238 in Chicago, where he defeated Donald Cerrone to notch his 12th consecutive victory.