Tony Ferguson reveals Khabib Nurmagomedov’s UFC retirement affected him: ‘A little part of me left’

Tony Ferguson reveals a little part of him left MMA when Khabib Nurmagomedov retired UFC

Failing to ever share the Octagon with former undisputed lightweight champion, Khabib Nurmagomedov during their respective UFC tenures, former interim titleholder, Tony Ferguson has candidly revealed a part of him “left” when the Russian retired from mixed martial arts back in 2020.

Forever on a collision-course, Nurmagomedov and Ferguson failed to ever fight each other under the banner of the UFC, with freak injuries, weight-cut mishaps, and even a global pandemic seeing at least five officially penned pairings between the lightweight veteran scrapped ahead of mouth-watering matchups.

Retiring from mixed martial arts competition back in 2020, Nurmagomedov most recently landed a title unification win over former interim champion and common-foe, Justin Gaethje, submitting the symbolic BMF championship holder with a second round triangle choke.

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As for Ferguson, the Oxnard veteran, who once shared a record-setting 12-fight winning run with American Kickboxing Academy staple, Nurmagomedov during his pomp, will attempt to snap a hugely disappointing six-fight losing skid at UFC 296 in December as he takes on Paddy Pimblett.

Tony Ferguson admits Khabib Nurmagomedov’s retirement affecting his career

And receiving encouragement to call time on his career with a loss to Liverpool contender, Pimblett in December, Ferguson has revealed that when Nurmagomedov called time on his undefeated career, a part of him “left” in tow.

“I know when Khabib (Nurmagomedov) left [MMA], a little part of me left with that,” Tony Ferguson told MMA Fighting during a recent interview. “It kind of sucked a little bit because we’ve always have that, I don’t know – negative energy. But that hype that was built around that. And then when that disappeared and the pandemic hit and f*cking team left and then a whole bunch.”

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In his most recent Octagon walk, Ferguson dropped a third round arm-triangle submission loss to Bobby Green at UFC 291 in July, suffering his sixth straight loss. 

Can Tony Ferguson snap his losing skid at UFC 296 in December