After the devastating loss at the hands of Justin Gaethje at UFC 249, Khabib Nurmagomedeov believes that Tony Ferguson is finished. Talking to ESPN jouranlist Brett Okamoto, Khabib Nurmagomedov stated that the damage Tony Ferguson took in the fight against Justin Gaethje for the interim belt back in May, may have been his last. Khabib added that no fighter can come out of that kind of damage, not even if he is Tony Ferguson. It’s hard not to agree with Khabib Nurmagomedov. After failing to face Dagestani fighter for the championship belt back in April due to the pandemic, Tony Ferguson accepted a short notice fight against Justin Gaethje for the interim strap in his bid to become the first two-time interim champion in UFC lightweight history.
Also Read I Khabib Nurmagomedov Says Tony Ferguson Gave Up
Khabib believes Tony Ferguson's "time is finished" due to the damage he's taken and predicts Ferguson will lose again.
— ESPN MMA (@espnmma) October 13, 2020
“Tony Ferguson’s time is finished. Now, he’s gonna come back, someone’s gonna beat him again I believe. When you take damage like this, you’re never gonna be the same. Never ever. Even if you’re Tony Ferguson. He took too much damage.” Khabib said.
Additionally, Khabib Nurmagomedov stated that he has an incredible opportunity in the form of Islam Makhachev, who is currently without a fight after former lightweight champion Rafael dos Anjos pulled out of his scheduled bout against the Dagestani fighter after testing COVID positive.
Khabib stated that if Ferguson can get past Islam Makhachev, maybe he can think about igniting his rivalry with Tony Ferguson. Both the fighters have been quoted to fight each other fives times in the past. However, due to one reason or another, the fight has never seen the light of the day.
Khabib Nurmagomedov believes Ferguson’s past injuries will haunt him going forward
With just five month between his last fight and now, it might not be the best idea for Ferguson to make his Octagon return this soon. Ferguson took a lot of damage against Justin Gaethje, and has been rocked numerous times in the past. Additionally, Ferguson’s leg injury which saw him return in less than six months against Anthony Pettis also raises huge concerns. “You kick him twice on his right leg and Tony Ferguson is finished.” Khabib said.
It is something which was evident in Ferguson vs Gaethje, where the former WSOF champion made good use of calf kicks to slow Ferguson down. Ferguson has called out both Dustin Poirier and Conor McGregor, however, everything points at a potential Poirier vs McGregor showdown sometime in November. In such a situation, only time will tell if Tony Ferguson will make his UFC return in 2020.