They may have had their run-ins in the past, but Khabib Nurmagomedov was quick to offer his support to Tony Ferguson upon being asked about his recent personal struggles.
By contrast, the feud that has existed between Nurmagomedov and Ferguson seems tame when looked at alongside the Dagestan-native’s relationship with his most recent conquest, Conor McGregor.
It was more a competitive conflict that saw tensions rise between The Eagle and El Cucuy and with Tony Ferguson’s future in the sport up in the air after some well-publicised problems in his personal life.
Speaking to RT Sport (via BJPenn.com), Khabib gave his take on the ongoing saga, offering words of support for the man who is almost destined to fight him inside the octagon.
“From what I understood at least, there were some reports about calls to the police, I really don’t want to go into details. Because I myself wouldn’t want to have that sort of attention.
“I can only imagine how hard it is for him, especially since it’s about his family. Again, I didn’t follow it closely, just like like you I read some things on the internet. May God give him health and the best of luck. Sport is sport, but family is family.
“And let’s hope he’ll return, it’s very strange to see him away, he has an 11-fight win streak in the lightweight division. And now he’s on the sidelines.
“I guess that just means that at this moment in time he has to go through this test. Each person faces their own challenge, some people get ill, some people let money go to their heads, some people drink. Someone has ‘star fever. Different people face tests in different ways. Someone had a surgery, someone is a champion who doesn’t have time for training.
“So each person faces their own challenge and it looks like he will have to go through his own challenge. Let’s hope he’ll come out as a winner and come back, and hopefully we’ll fight one day.”
It’s hard to know if we’ll ever get the opportunity to see these two all-time great lightweights compete – despite the fact that it has been near-unanimously declared as the most stylistically intriguing clash available to the UFC right now.
After four failed attempts at booking a fight between him and Ferguson – the most recent being UFC 223 – it was interesting to note that Khabib still sees a fight with El Cucuy as something of an inevitability in his future.
“Yes, it’s a great fight. It’s one of the best. Not even one of the best, it’s the most anticipated fight in the UFC.
“I’ve been told about it by the UFC owners because they monitor what people say on the internet.
“And this is the most anticipated fight at the moments. So let’s hope he comes back.”
'May God give him good health': Khabib offers support to Tony Ferguson, hopes 'dream fight' will happen
— RT Sport (@RTSportNews) April 5, 2019
Cillian Cunningham, Pundit Arena