Khabib Nurmagomedov has been keeping a low profile ever since his disastrous weight cut failure ahead of UFC 209 clash and his scheduled clash with Tony Ferguson back in March.
The Russian wrestler was a no-show for the official pre-fight weigh-in and the interim lightweight title fight with El Cucuy was unceremoniously scrapped.
News of Nurmagomedov’s hospitalisation as a result of his weight cut quickly filtered out and despite Ferguson’s magnanimous gesture of good will to his opponent, the debacle dented The Eagle’s reputation and left fans questioning his ability to make the 155-pound lightweight mark.
Despite having a flawless 24-0 MMA record, including 8-0 in the UFC, Nurmagomedov has pulled out of four UFC bouts due to injury or illness and was also forced to fight a catch-weight bout with Abel Trujillo after he failed to make the mandated lightweight mark of 155lb at UFC 160.
It is this inconsistency that has seen the Russian fail to build the kind of fan base, outside his native Russia, that other UFC stars, with less impressive records, enjoy in the UFC.
Now, nearly three months on from the disaster that was UFC 209, Nurmagomedov appears to be back and has taken to social media to post this cryptic message.
It's a matter of time
— khabib nurmagomedov (@TeamKhabib) May 22, 2017
While news of his return should once again excite fans and stir up musings of a fight with Ferguson or even Conor McGregor, it seems fans are just not that bothered anymore, as reaction to Nurmagomedov’s tweet suggests.
With his social media update leaving fans to interpret his meaning, they duly obliged and unanimously and mercilessly trolled the Russian.
Until your next Tiramisu?
— Kevin O'Malley (@kom_racing) May 22, 2017
I'm a khabib fan ..but that's a good one ..lol
— Tweetbender (@oilerkhan786) May 22, 2017
Until you get injured again?
— Scott Manning (@fammy5000) May 23, 2017
Until cheese cake time ?
— mr intelligente (@mrintelligente) May 23, 2017
Until you are a professional???
— #Adrok (@707Adrok) May 22, 2017
Correction: it's a matter of making weight.
— Tyler peterson (@ripcity3243) May 23, 2017
Till your next slice of cake? pic.twitter.com/AxKi29PbQ3
— Brando Calrissian (@MuseMan82) May 23, 2017
Until your next injury and we get to hear about how dominant you are? Can not wait. Let me tell you. Excited.
— Tobias Gee (@Blaxicnboi) May 22, 2017
You r done
— GuruMMA (@MMA_MX) May 23, 2017
It seems now that only an emphatic victory within the octagon against a serious contender will help repair fans’ faith in the submission master.
His record does demand respect and is worthy of another shot at redemption. However, with positive sentiment all but washed away, is time running out for Khabib Nurmagomedov?
Gary Brennan, Pundit Arena