California, U.S. | Oct. 29, 2020, 5:01 a.m.
The UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov after defending his lightweight champion title on Saturday at UFC 254 with a second-round triangle choke of Justin Gaethje shocked the globe by announcing his retirement from the world of UFC. In his post-fight speech, Khabib cited the death of his father, Abdulmanap, earlier this year as the main reason behind his exit from the sport.
But even though his reasoning seems ironclad, MMA retirements are notoriously short-lived, and at only 32 years old, Khabib is still in the prime of his career, and some people question if this retirement will be as permanent as it sounds.
Tony and Khabib were in the stories of MMA history since 2016, which made it all more interesting because the two men never had the chance to actually fight. Five times a bout was booked between the two and five times it fell apart and now, with Khabib stepping away, it seems that the bout is lost forever. Ferguson disagrees though. In a recent interview with Submission Radio, the former interim lightweight champion said he believes Khabib won’t stay retired forever, and when he returns, Ferguson plans to be waiting.
“I’m ready for a belt,” Ferguson said. “That’s why I said I’m gonna throw a bit more media out there. I haven’t done it because I haven’t had a reason before. Even because I didn’t want to scare Khabib away. But even without f*ckin’ fighting that b*tch I made him retire. So, as I said, props to you, ride off into the sunset with your f*cking hat. When you come back, I’ll put my f*ckin’ baseball hat against your hat and we’ll have a nice cultured exchange.”
Khabib Nurmagomedov retired at 29-0 and said he promised his mother he won’t fight again after the death of his father. Khabib and his father were super close as he was his head trainer and said it was too difficult to train without him.
Tony Ferguson, meanwhile, is coming off a fifth-round TKO loss to Justin Gaethje at UFC 249 for the interim lightweight title. “El Cucuy” is looking to return soon and still believes he will fight Nurmagomedov one day.
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