Tony Ferguson Admits ‘Little Part Of Him Left’ When Khabib Nurmagomedov Retired, Says ‘The Eagle’ Is ‘Still Fat’

"El Cucuy" talked about his rivalry with Khabib once again.

Tony Ferguson Talks Khabib
Tony Ferguson Talks Khabib - Image credit @khabib_nurmagomedov Instagram @MMAFighting Youtube
  • Tony Ferguson confessed to being impacted by Khabib Nurmagomedov’s retirement
  • “El Cucuy” said he is still not cool with “The Eagle” as well as Conor McGregor

Tony Ferguson is gearing up for much awaited return inside the Octagon against Paddy Pimblett at UFC 296. Ahead of the match, “El Cucuy” reflected on his bad blood with Khabib Nurmagomedov and how it impacted his MMA career.

Tony was affected by Khabib’s retirement

Speaking to Ariel Helwani on The MMA Hour, Ferguson made a shocking revelation about how Nurmagomedov’s retirement affected him. According to the former interim lightweight champ, he admits that he was never the same when Nurmagomedov left the sport.

“I know when Khabib left, a little part of me left with that,” Ferguson confessed. “It kind of sucked a little bit because we’ve always had that, I don’t want to say negative energy, but that hype that was built around that. Then when that disappeared, and the pandemic hit, and the f**king team left and then just a whole bunch there was nothing else left for me kind of. Except what I told myself is I wanted to compete. I wanted to compete enough so that way maybe possibly, win or lose, Khabib would come back.”

For context, Ferguson and Nurmagomedov was slated to face each other five times but the fight never took place. At last, the highly-anticipated match was supposed to happen at UFC 249 but the pandemic regulations in Russia did not allow “The Eagle” to travel. Once again, the pair did not meet inside the Octagon.

Previously, “El Cucuy” accused Nurmagomedov and Ali Abdelazis of owing him half a million dollars from an alleged shady deal that took place in the past.

Khabib’s hands are always full

Ferguson said he and Nurmagomedov almost got another chance to take on each other via The Ultimate Fighter Season 31. However, “El Cucuy” said Nurmagomedov was too busy with other things and the TUF deal never materialized.

“We almost coached on The Ultimate Fighter,” Ferguson said of Nurmagomedov. “The season where [Michael] Chandler and [Conor] McGregor coached. We were verbally agreed to have coached. I think that was like in November and a couple of months passed and he didn’t even go corner [Islam] Makhachev, which is one thing, and so he had a lot of different things going on in his life where he had to kind of second guess himself and not want to come back. So, that was like another bummer. It was like, ‘F**k. Okay, really?’”

“And so I had to find myself and kind of like I said let go of a couple things because I mean anger is not one thing you want to keep holding on to… I still don’t want to shake the f**ker’s hand. He’s still fat in my book,” he continued. “Conor is still a f**king little b***h too. At the end of the day, there’s another day, the next day. So, that’s preparing for whatever’s going to be coming next.”

Indeed, Ferguson remains focused on what is in front of him and that is to face surging UFC star Pimblett. He will try and end his six-fight losing streak and prove why he is still in the game.

Check out Ferguson’s full interview below:

Published on October 3, 2023 at 11:23 am
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