This past weekend, undefeated UFC lightweight Khabib Nurmagomedov was set to step into the Octagon with streaking lightweight contender Tony Ferguson for a highly anticipated showdown that would see one man crowned the interim lightweight champion, and earn one man the chance to fight Conor McGregor when he chooses to return following the birth of his child in May.
Unfortunately, since Nurmagomedov’s withdrawal, reports have surfaced that Nurmagomedov’s father is currently considering pushing his son to retire. While there has been no word from Nurmagomedov himself regarding the situation, Nurmagomedov’s AKA teammate Luke Rockhold spoke to Submission Radio to give a very different take on the situation, also shedding light on why Nurmagomedov was forced out of the fight, saying:
“THE WEIGHT CUT WASN’T GOING VERY WELL,” ROCKHOLD EXPLAINED. “KHABIB WAS COMPLAINING ABOUT A PAIN IN THE SIDE AND WE HAD TO CUT SHORT THE WEIGHT CUT, AND SURE ENOUGH, I GUESS IT GOT WORSE OVERNIGHT AND HE HAD TO GO THE HOSPITAL.
“(IT’S) UNFORTUNATE. THAT WAS THE FIGHT I WAS REALLY LOOKING FORWARD TO FOR KHABIB AND IT’S BEEN A LONG TIME WORKING WITH THAT MAN AND I KNOW HE’S PUT IN THE TIME AND THE EFFORT AND DESERVED IT, SO IT JUST SUCKS.
“FROM WHAT I UNDERSTAND HE WASN’T GETTING ANY BLOOD TO HIS LIVER AND SOMETHING WENT WRONG WITH THE WEIGHT CUT,” ROCKHOLD CONTINUED. “IT WAS VERY SIMILAR TO HIS LAST FIGHT FROM WHAT I UNDERSTAND AND JUST SOMETHING WENT WRONG. YOU NEVER KNOW WITH THESE WEIGHT CUTS I GUESS. BUT I THINK HE’S READY TO GO AND WE CAN REBOOK THAT THING.”
With the reports that Nurmagomedov could retire, many fans figured that the odds of the fight being rebooked were slim to none, however Rockhold painted a very different picture:
“I DON’T THINK IT SHOULD TAKE MUCH TIME. I THINK HE’S HUNGRY, I THINK HE’S READY,” HE SAID. “WHAT OTHER CHOICE DO YOU HAVE? KHABIB IS UNDEFEATED, HE’S BEATEN EVERYBODY, HE’S DONE MORE THAN ANYBODY. YOU CAN’T TAKE THAT FIGHT AWAY, YOU CAN’T TAKE THE TITLE AWAY. IT JUST NEEDS TO BE REBOOKED. I THINK IT SHOULD BE REBOOKED AS SOON AS POSSIBLE”
This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 3/10/2017.