Former undisputed UFC lightweight champion, Khabib Nurmagomedov has claimed that former interim titleholder and arch-rival, Tony Ferguson is only continuing fighting amid his continued losing streak, in order to afford his taxes and bills in the state of California.
Khabib, who was infamously tied to both title and non-title fights with Ferguson on five separate occasions during their respective runs atop the lightweight division, without ever sharing the Octagon with the Oxnard veteran.
For Khabib, the Dagestan grappler called time on his professional career back in September 2020 on ‘Fight Island’ – submitting common-foe, Justin Gaethje with a second triangle to successfully unify the division titles.
For Ferguson, the former interim lightweight champion headlined UFC 279 in an impromptu welterweight headliner against Nate Diaz just last month, starting brightly before suffering an eventual fourth round guillotine choke loss.
The defeat came as the faltering Ferguson’s fifth consecutively, following defeats to Michael Chandler, Beneil Dariush, Charles Oliveira, and the aforenoted, Gaethje.
Khabib Nurmagomedov claims Tony Ferguson is only competing in order to make money
Sharing his thoughts on the continued skid of Ferguson recently ahead of his protégé, Islam Makhachev’s UFC 280 title fight against Oliveira, former champion, Khabib claimed Ferguson needs to fight for money, maintaining his time in the sport is gone.
“His (Tony Ferguson) time is up, and there’s no way to get it back,” Khabib Nurmagomedov told UFC Russia during a recent interview. “Not Khabib, not Tony (Ferguson), nobody. We had our time, and it passed.”
“He continues to fight, he needs money,” Khabib Nurmagomedov continued. “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.”
In his most recent win as part of a division-best run of 12 consecutive victories, Ferguson defeated the now-retired, Donald Cerrone with a second round doctor’s stoppage TKO win back in June 2019.