UFC lightweight champ Khabib Nurmagomedov says his training camp for his nixed UFC 249 fight with Tony Ferguson was among the best he’s ever had.
Nurmagomedov was originally expected to defend his title against Ferguson in the main event of UFC 249 card on April 18. Unfortunately, amid growing travel restrictions associated with the coronavirus pandemic, the champ wound up getting stuck in his native Russia, unable to depart for his fight with Ferguson. This marks the fifth time a planned bout between the pair has fallen through.
Had the fight gone ahead as planned, it sounds like we would have seen the best Khabib Nurmagomedov yet in the cage.
“It was the best training camp,” Nurmagomedov wrote on Instagram, reflecting on his preparation for his canceled fight with Ferguson. “I haven’t felt myself that good for a while, but we’ll get ready for come back even better.”
When Nurmagomedov was unable to leave Russia, the UFC called upon Justin Gaethje to fight Ferguson for the interim lightweight belt on April 18. While that entire April 18 card fell through, the Ferguson vs. Gaethje bout has since been rescheduled for the revamped UFC 249 card on May 9 in Jacksonville, Florida.
Nurmagomedov, meanwhile, is currently celebrating Ramadan, and is expected to return to the cage come August or September, most likely against the new interim champion.
Do you think Khabib Nurmagomedov would have defeated Tony Ferguson if they had fought on April 18?
This article first appeared on BJPENN.com on 5/1/2020.