Former Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov may be retired from mixed martial arts (MMA), but that hasn’t stopped “The Eagle” from assessing the current combat sports landscape.
Just ask the new-look Jose Aldo.
Local reporters had a chance to question Nurmagomedov during a public panel and “The Eagle” did not mince words when it came to longtime rival Tony Ferguson. “El Cucuy” has now lost three straight and looks like a shell of his former self.
“He is 38 years old,” Nurmagomedov told RT Sport (transcribed by MMA Junkie). “Tell me how he can make a comeback? He was dominated in his last three bouts. Different styles – a striker, a grappler … (Beneil) Dariush, (Charles) Oliveira, (Justin) Gaethje – they all dominated him both standing up and on the ground. When you are 38, I believe you have to pull the brakes and there have to be people around him to say, ‘Hey, you are aging. You have to stop.’”
Ferguson is actually 37 but the point stands. And without diminishing his accomplishments at 155 pounds, it’s important to note that “El Cucuy” does not hold a victory over anyone currently ranked in the Top 5 of his division.
And never crossed paths with Conor McNuggets.
Sadly, fans never got a chance to see Ferguson battle Nurmagomedov when both fighters were in their respective primes, though not for a lack of trying on the part of the promotion. Between injuries and tiramisu, it seems their lightweight showdown was simply not meant to be.