Khabib Nurmagomedov trashed Tony Ferguson’s “completely mediocre upbringing” in 2019 autobiography

By Adam D Martin - May 17, 2021

Former UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov trashed his rival Tony Ferguson’s upbringing in his autobiography from 2019.

Khabib Nurmagomedov

Though “#Khabibtime” came out two years ago, it wasn’t until this past weekend where passages of Nurmagomedov’s book began floating around online where he threw some serious shade towards Ferguson, his longtime rival who he never ended up fighting in the Octagon. Check out some of the comments he made (h/t SmeshJitsuOnly for passages and Tim Bissell of for quotes).

“Sometimes I felt certain gratitude towards the guy. I have already written that my desire to return after three of severe injuries and having almost decided to end my career was ignited because of my overwhelming impulse to meet El Cucuy and punch him on the head so that he would look at life differently. That was the way it was. The possibility of finally silencing this poorly brought up dude became one of the main reasons for my returning to the cage. I have a set of emotions towards this guy like those that would flood the streets of Makhachkala at the age of sixteen or twenty, when I saw in front of me an impudent lout who was boasting how strong he was. I never had missed the opportunity to thrash such a smartass and at the same time to check which of his claims about his abilities was true. So I looked at Ferguson and continue to do so with eyes full of sarcasm and anger. I assure you that my attitude promised nothing good for Tony.” — Khabib Nurmagomedov

“Work on the preparation for the fight was as usual, occasionally interrupted by laughter and irony about Tony’s latest attack on me in the media. And in fact, it was funny to watch an opponent trying to unsteady you mentally, without even realizing that the methods he used were like a little tickle. Everything went as per usual. For some reason, he was abusive from the very beginning of our interaction, not being embarrassed at all with the expressions he used. I quickly realized that it was a way of asserting himself. What for? I could not understand it. Yes, of course, what is called trash talk is an aspect of the to and fro at the UFC, but Ferguson immediately began to transgress all reasonable boundaries. I myself like to tweet something against a future opponent of ‘experts’ on Twitter or Instagram posts, but what El Cucuy does can not be supported in any way. It is pure dirt. I gradually formed a particular contempt for Ferguson as a person. To be precise — as a person. I think it is wrong to treat him badly from a sporting point of view; he is a fine fighter, a winner, a champion in my division for a period and the possessor of one of the longest winning streaks in the UFC. He is definitely a great athlete. However, a completely mediocre upbringing and the behaviour it has generated makes him sometimes merely a nonentity.” — Khabib Nurmagomedov

It’s unknown if Tony Ferguson has ever seen these comments, but clearly, there was no love lost between him and Nurmagomedov. It’s a shame we never got to see the fight.


Khabib Nurmagomedov Tony Ferguson UFC