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Khabib Nurmagomedov says Tony Ferguson missed his chance

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Khabib will not fight until 9 month suspension is over (0:52)

Ariel Helwani explains the NSAC's verdict delivered to Conor McGregor and Khabib Nurmagomedov and if they will serve the full suspensions. (0:52)

UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov took to Instagram late Saturday night to voice his displeasure with lightweight contender Tony Ferguson's decision to turn down an interim title fight.

"Tony, you had your chance and you missed it, and that's your fault only," Nurmagomedov wrote. "You know that I'm disqualified and can't fight, but it's not fair to strip me off the title. I fought 3 times in 9 months. I won and defended my belt.

"As a fighter you deserve a title fight, you are great fighter and opponent, but now you have to fight or wait for my DQ to be over and fight (but UFC doesn't want it). I don't understand your offenses, if you fell down, you got to get up, not complain."

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I want to remind you guys, that before I become champion, I was close to the title fight 3 times and all 3 times I missed my opportunity. First was in July 2016 when I was offered to fight in Ramadan month and I turned it down, second was UFC 205 NYC when I was offered a title fight, bout agreement signed, but my title was given away, you know the story. Third time was UFC 209 where I was hospitalized and almost died. But after every single fail I were said: you missed your chance, earn your shot with one more victory. Tony you had your chance and you missed it, and that's your fault only. You know that I'm disqualified and can't fight, but it's not fair to strip me off the title, I fought 3 times in 9 months. I won and defended my belt. As a fighter you deserve a title fight, you are great fighter and opponent, but now you have to fight or wait for my DQ to be over and fight(but UFC doesn't want it). I don't understand your offenses, if you fell down, you got to get up, not complain. #ufc #mma #ufclightweight

A post shared by Khabib Nurmagomedov (@khabib_nurmagomedov) on

Ferguson (24-3) turned down an opportunity to fight Max Holloway for the division's interim belt, according to UFC president Dana White. Ferguson felt his 11 straight wins were enough to justify a shot at Nurmagomedov (27-0).

Dustin Poirier (24-5) will instead take on Holloway (20-3), UFC's featherweight champion moving up a weight class, in the main event of UFC 236 in Atlanta.

Nurmagomedov is currently suspended by the Nevada State Athletic Commission for nine months for his participation in a melee following his victory over Conor McGregor at UFC 229 in October. He is eligible to fight on July 6 but has said he will wait until the fall and is eyeing a possible matchup in New York in November.

Ferguson (24-3) is coming off a second-round TKO win against Anthony Pettis in October. Ferguson and Nurmagomedov have been matched up on four separate occasions, and none of them have come to fruition, because of injuries or weight-cutting problems.