Khabib Nurmagomedov thinks Tony Ferguson’s time has passed and that it might be time for The Ultimate Fighter 13 winner and former interim UFC lightweight champion to hang up the gloves.
Nurmagomedov’s comments are hardly surprising considering Ferguson’s UFC 279 submission loss to Nate Diaz marked his fifth straight defeat, with ‘El Cucuy’ not having tasted victory in the Octagon since his 2019 TKO win (doctor stoppage) over Donald Cerrone at UFC 238.
Khabib understands Ferguson’s motives for continuing fighting (money) but thinks his ex-lightweight rival needs a reality check following the latest in a long string of defeats for the 38-year-old UFC veteran.
“His time is up, and there’s no way to get it back,” Nurmagomedov, who never got to fight Ferguson despite the pair being scheduled to fight five times, 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.”
Ferguson has shut down retirement talks despite being labeled a shell of his former self by former UFC two-division champion turned UFC color commentator Daniel Cormier, adamant that he will leave the UFC on his own terms, preferably after a win.
Khabib retired in 2020 following his third defense of the lightweight title at UFC 254, submitting top-three contender Justin Gaethje in the second round with a rear-naked choke. He is widely considered the greatest lightweight champion in UFC history and one of the greatest pound-for-pound fighters of all time.
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