“Tony Is Finish” – Islam Makhachev Rejects Potential Fight Against Tony Ferguson

Published 10/27/2021, 10:27 AM EDT
MOSCOW, RUSSIA – NOVEMBER 8, 2019: MMA fighter Islam Makhachev ahead of a weigh-in prior to the UFC Fight Night 163 at the CSKA Arena. Valery Sharifulin/TASS (Photo by Valery SharifulinTASS via Getty Images)


The Islam Makhachev versus Dan Hooker bout is all set to happen at UFC 267 on October 30. The fight was originally supposed to be between Makhachev and Rafael dos Anjos, but the latter opted out because of his injury. Thus, Dan Hooker agreed to come on board despite a very brief notice. But it turns out that Tony Ferguson was the first choice of replacement, not Hooker. 

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Makhachev was initially given two options – a fight against Tony Ferguson or Dan Hooker. He chose Ferguson, but the American fighter didn’t respond, so Makhachev agreed to fight Hooker.

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Makhachev said, “They give me two names. Tony Ferguson or Dan Hooker. And they say Tony Ferguson don’t answer. That’s why Hooker is ready. I say, ‘Let’s go, doesn’t matter.’ ”

Further speaking about Ferguson’s skills, he said, “He’s tough. He’s good. High-level striking…. Every day little bit old I think. He’s, you know, he don’t have like good win streak but he’s tough. He fights with lot of tough guys.”

Islam Makhachev on a potential future fight with Tony Ferguson

When a reporter questioned Makhachev if he was disappointed about not fighting Ferguson, the Russian fighter compared Ferguson and Hooker’s rankings.

He said, “Tony Ferguson number seven or eight. Hooker number six and I think Tony is finish, you know. He is have three loose streak, that’s why. I think it’s not good, a good idea fight for him.”

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A fight between Makhachev and Ferguson would have been an outstanding one, especially since both have been firing back and forth outside the octagon. However, Hooker is an exceptional fighter, and a bout between the two will be extremely exciting. For ‘The Hangman’, this is an important bout, because winning it might earn him a title fight.

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The 30-year-old fighter also said that Hasbulla might attend the fight to support him.

BOSTON, MA – JANUARY 20: Islam Makhachev of Russia celebrates after his knockout victory over Gleison Tibau of Brazil in their lightweight bout during the UFC 220 event at TD Garden on January 20, 2018 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)

As both Makhachev and Hooker prepare for their upcoming bout, fans are eager to see which fighter will ultimately win this tough fight. Makhachev has previously lost just one fight, whereas Hooker has lost 10 fights in his entire MMA career. It would be great to see what improvements and adjustments both the fighters make to their respective game. 

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Who do you think will win this fight? Is Makhachev destined to be the champion or will Hooker be the one to stop him? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below. 

Watch this story: Islam Makhachev vs. Dan Hooker Stats: Record, Height, Reach, and More

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Rohini Kottu

119 articles

Rohini Kottu is a UFC Writer at EssentiallySports. She is also a Psychologist and has a Master's degree in Clinical Psychology. Rohini, in her role as a UFC writer, combines her admiration for the mental resilience that MMA fighters have and her love for analysis.

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