Back in early March, in the co-main event of UFC 209, undefeated lightweight contender Khabib Nurmagomedov was expected to take on streaking rival Tony Ferguson for the UFC interim lightweight title. Regrettably, Nurmagomedov was forced out of this contest at the last minute, as he was hospitalized due to complications resulting from his weight cut.
In a recent interview with RT Sport, Nurmagomedov recounted his unfortunate withdrawal from UFC 209.
“You know I don’t remember a lot of things, to be honest,” he said. Last night [before the weigh in] and I know – I am going to a hospital, I feel bad. I know that a lot of fans are upset with me about this and I agree with this guys. Because this is one of the biggest fights in Russian MMA. for me, I can make history but I am going to the hospital you know.”
“Sometimes this happens, sometimes you can die, you know,” Nurmagomedov continued. “Everybody can die, everybody can [get] sick. Now I need a couple of months. Like two or three months. After three months I come for hard training and I want to fight in September.”
Nurmagomedov then explained that he takes full responsibility for the events that led to his withdrawal from the card.
“I think this is my fault, this is my fault,” he said. “I know that [my] body don’t listen to me and I think, I know, this is my fault. How can I say that this is the coach’s fault or the diet guy’s fault? This is 100% my fault.”
Finally, Nurmagomedov weighed in on the state of his rivalry with Tony Ferguson.
“I feel a little bit better [towards him],” he explained. “But to be honest, you know when you want to smash somebody so badly, how do you feel about this guy? This is my dream fight – a fight with Tony Ferguson. I know I pulled out, but he pulled out one time, too. But nobody talked when he pulled out. When I pull out – everybody talks about this. But it’s ok. Inshallah, I will come back and we’ll see what happens.”
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This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 4/2/2017.