On April 18th. undisputed UFC lightweight champion, Khabib ‘The Eagle’ Nurmagomedov was scheduled to meet with former interim champion, Tony Ferguson, in a fifth-attempted pairing – a pairing which was ultimately axed, yet again.
Nurmagomedov, who had returned to his native Dagestan after explaining he was told that the pay-per-view event wouldn’t happen in Brooklyn, as originally slated. Now stranded in his home country due to travel restrictions implemented to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus – Nurmagomedov was forced to withdraw.
In his place, we welcome fellow Dominance MMA and Ali Abdelaziz stablemate, Justin Gaethje – who takes on the aforementioned, Ferguson, with interim spoils up for grabs. So, when does Khabib Nurmagomedov return – to expectedly unify the titles against either ‘El Cucuy’, or ‘The Highlight’?
According to UFC president, Dana White – we’ll see Khabib back in action toward the start of the year’s final quarter. Speaking with ESPN reporter, Brett Okamoto on Friday evening, White revealed, “Khabib (Nurmagomedov) will be back in September or October.“
Nurmagomedov, 31, is a practising Muslim and began Ramadan last night on April 23rd. and will continue until May 23rd. The Sambo practitioner has in recent years, competed in the weeks leading up to Ramadan against Al Iaquinta, and the months after against both Conor McGregor and Dustin Poirier.
Speaking at a Dominance MMA media event recently, Nurmagomedov revealed that he usually needs at least forty-five days to recover from the month’s effects of fasting.
“It’s very hard and very dangerous, too,” Nurmagomedov explained. “All day, you don’t drink and you don’t eat. Injuries can come. That’s why we (don’t have) too much contact, and without sparring. It’s still hard. After Ramadan, we need minimum forty-fives day to recover – athletes, not (non-athletes) because we compete at a high level, and that’s why we have to watch everything. After Ramadan – forty, forty-five days we need recovery because [of] time change, a lot of things like food, how you eat, when you eat. A lot of things change. We need one and a half months for recovery.“