UFC Hall of Famer Khabib Nurmagomedov is readying his protege Islam Makhachev for the biggest fight of his career at UFC 280.
Before cornering Makhachev in his world title main event on October 21st, the undefeated icon sat down with UFC Russia to talk about his own historic career including one of his biggest UFC rivals, Tony Ferguson. Despite the fact that Khabib and ‘El Cucuy’ never stepped inside the Octagon with one another, the two fighters have spent years targeting one another in interviews and social media.
With ‘The Eagle’ now firmly retired from competition, he’s taking another shot at a still-active Tony Ferguson who has struggled to get into the win column as of late.
“His time is up, and there’s no way to get it back,” Nurmagomedov said. “Not Khabib, not Tony, nobody. We had our time, and it passed. He continues to fight. He needs money. You have to pay your bills in the U.S., and I’m sure that since he’s a Californian, I know all the Californian fighters – everything he earned, take half of that. I think he keeps fighting for money to pay bills, taxes. He has a family, I think he has two kids. I don’t blame him, but you can’t get back time. When your time goes away it doesn’t ask your name.”
We Could Still Get Khabib vs. Tony Ferguson, Just Not the Way We Pictured It
With Khabib Nurmagomedov comfortable in retirement and Tony Ferguson dropping his last five bouts, a fight between the two fan favorites is highly unlikely at this point. However, that doesn’t mean we won’t see Khabib vs. Ferguson. It just won’t be the way we anticipated it would go down.
Instead of locking up inside the Octagon, both fighters could end up as opposing coaches on a season of the UFC’s long-running reality series, The Ultimate Fighter. Ferguson had previously presented the idea which, by all accounts, Khabib Nurmagomedov was more than open to. Months later, Ferguson revealed that they received the green light to move forward with the show, but Khabib appears to be dragging his feet according to ‘El Cucuy.’
“We got the green light,” Ferguson revealed. “We’re waiting on Khabib’s fat a**. I actually called him Khabib. Did you guys hear that sh*t? We’re waiting on ‘Fathead’s fat a** and I’m going to be real with you, we got the green light from the brass, went and talked to them.
“We got the green light from his coach. We got the green light from his agent. His agent comes up and tries to hug me, he was all in pink, f*cking looked like Pinky from Friday. It was funny as f*ck. You can spot him anywhere. He comes up and he’s like ‘let’s do this.’ In reality, we’re just waiting for Khabib’s fat a**.”