On Saturday night, Justin Gaethje defeated Tony Ferguson at UFC 249 to become the interim lightweight champion.

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Gaethje (22-2) claimed interim lightweight gold with a fifth-round TKO of Tony Ferguson (25-4 MMA, 15-2 UFC) in the main event. He is riding a four-fight knockout streak over James Vick, Edson Barboza, Donald Cerrone and Ferguson.

The undisputed UFC lightweight king, Khabib “The Eagle” Nurmagomedov was impressed.


Ferguson’s initial opponent was unable to fight. He is stuck in Russia under national travel restrictions. Russian President Vladimir Putin issued the restrictions to slow the spread of the COVID-19 outbreak.

However, in a tweet, “The Eagle” congratulated Gaethje for his performance before elaborating with a statement.

“In this sport and especially in this weight there will always be hungry lions that will breathe down your neck. If you relax then you are finished,” Nurmagomedov wrote. “Some leave and others arrive, that’s nothing to be surprised about. But I won’t fall before the shot. We will still fight.”

Dana White confirmed at the post-fight press conference that Nurmagomedov and Gaethje will unify the lightweight belts next.