After bowing out of his scheduled interim Lightweight title fight last second due to weight-cutting issues against Tony Ferguson, which was all set to go down last month at UFC 209 in Las Vegas, Nevada, Khabib Nurmagomedov hasn’t been too keen on speaking with the media.
But during a recent grand opening of one of his team’s — Eagle’s MMA -- gym in Moscow, Russia, Nurmagomedov broke his silence and talked about the issues that cancelled the much-anticipated title fight.
“You know I don’t remember a lot of things, to be honest,” said Khabib exclusively to RT Sport. Last night (before weigh in) and I know – I am going to a hospital, I feel bad. I know that a lot of fans are upset with me about this and I agree with this guys. Because this is one of the biggest fights in Russian MMA. for me, I can make history but I am going to the hospital you know,” he said.
For Khabib, it was like a life-and-death situation, as his body couldn't pump blood to his liver due to the rigorous process of weight-cutting. That said, “The Eagle” is on the mend and eyes a return to the Octagon in September of this year.
“But sometimes this happens, sometimes you can die, you know. Everybody can die, everybody can (get) sick. Now I need a couple of months. Like two or three months. After three months I come for hard training and I want to fight in September,” he added.
As for whether he’s like to face Tony once he does return, Nurmagomedov stated that was something that was out of his control. Still, at the end of the day, Khabib puts all of the blame on his shoulders for having to bow out.
“I think this is my fault, this is my fault. I know that (my) body don’t listen to me and I think, I know, this is my fault,” he added. “How can I say that this is the coach’s fault or the diet guy’s fault? This is 100% my fault.”
It’s sentiment “El Cucuy” won’t argue with.
For Khabib, while he still wants to smack Ferguson, he did appreciate the well wishes Tony sent him during his troubles. That said, it’s still a fight he’d like to have. He also reminds everyone that he is not the only one that’s ever pulled out of one of their proposed fights.
“I feel a little bit better (towards him). But to be honest, you know when you want to smash somebody so badly, how do you feel about this guy? This is my dream fight – a fight with Tony Ferguson. I know I pulled out, but he pulled out one time, too. But nobody talked when he pulled out. When I pull out – everybody talks about this. But it’s ok. Inshallah (God willing) I will come back and we’ll see what happens,” concluded Khabib.
Indeed, a matchup, between Nurmagomedov and Ferguson has been booked three times, only to get cancelled on all occasions.
Fourth time’s a charm?