Khabib Nurmagomedov says he’ll be ready to fight in July and smash who is ever in his way.
Nurmagomedov was expected to defend his lightweight title against Tony Ferguson on April 18 at UFC 249. Yet, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Dagestani champion was stuck in Russia and could not get to the States so the event was canceled.
Now, on May 9, Ferguson will take on Justin Gaethje for the interim lightweight title. It is a fascinating fight where Dana White has said the winner will fight Nurmagomedov in the fall. But, according to the champion, he’ll be ready to fight come July.
It’s almost Khabibtime ⏰ pic.twitter.com/6RNv0a9yiX
— ESPN MMA (@espnmma) May 6, 2020
“I can fight anytime. Ramadan finishes May 23. [In July], I’m gonna be ready. Stop talking about me. This is coronatime; when Khabibtime comes, I [will] smash all of them,” the champion wrote in an Instagram comment.
For UFC fans, this is good news that Nurmagomedov is willing to fight much sooner than expected. So, we could very well see the winner of Saturday’s main event have a quick turnaround to battle the champ in July for the undisputed title. But, if it is “El Cucuy,” Dana White has already said he isn’t confident Ferguson-Nurmagomedov happens in 2020.
Khabib Nurmagomedov is coming off a submission win over Dustin Poirier at UFC 242 to defend his lightweight title. Before that, he beat Conor McGregor to defend his belt for the first time after winning the vacant belt against Al Iaquinta.
Whether or not the UFC will look to have Nurmagomedov fight in July is to be seen. It should be expected that both Ferguson and Gaethje will sustain damage in the fight, so perhaps they won’t be ready for July.
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This article first appeared on BJPENN.com on 5/6/2020.