One of the most popular fighters in the UFC lightweight division today is Khabib Nurmagomedov. Known for utilizing Freestyle Sambo, Nurmagomedov climbed the MMA ranks with 22 straight victories with six of them being in the UFC. These days however, Nurmagomedov’s fighting career is a memory due to numerous injuries keeping him out of action. Earlier this year, Nurmagomedov was expected to fight Donald Cerrone at UFC 187: Johnson vs. Cormier, but had to drop out due to an injury. After he was healed, Nurmagomedov was set to fight Tony Ferguson at The Ultimate Fighter: Team McGregor vs. Team Faber Finale. Unfortunately, he had to drop out due to injury again.
As of now, there is no word on when Khabib Nurmagomedov will return to UFC. However, a new detail has arisen in which “The Eagle” is questioning even returning to UFC. As a matter of fact, Nurmagomedov is questioning if he’ll even continue his career in MMA.
According to MMA Fighting, Khabib Nurmagomedov was forced out of his fight against Tony Ferguson at The Ultimate Fighter: Team McGregor vs. Team Faber Finale due to a rib injury. Nurmagomedov made it known via Instagram the type of injury he suffered wasn’t just a bruised rib per se (similar to José Aldo), but an actual broken rib. Damon Martin, a senior UFC writer for Fox Sports, followed up with a tweet on his official Twitter to verify the situation to the MMA community.
Khabib on Instagram: “I broke my rib, and again I am out of the fight. I really wanted to come back, I’m not sure if i will ever come back.”
— Damon Martin (@DamonMartin) October 30, 2015
The peculiar detail that must be pointed out with Damon Martin’s tweet is that Khabib Nurmagomedov says he is unsure if he’ll ever return to MMA. Such thoughts would are understandable given the fact Nurmagomedov was unable to participate in his last three scheduled fights due to injuries. It might just be possible that the last eight years of 22 fights have taken its toll on Nurmagomedov’s body and now he is suffering. To top off his woes, Nurmagomedov is now losing rank simply for dropping out of fights. He used to be ranked number one in the UFC lightweight division. Now Nurmagomedov is down to number three.
Khabib Nurmagomedov’s dropout leaves Tony Ferguson without an opponent. However, there is enough time for a suitable replacement to be found which means he’ll still participate in The Ultimate Fighter: Team McGregor vs. Team Faber Finale. According to Bleacher Report, unnamed sources claim UFC is eyeing Edson Barboza, the number six-ranked contender in the UFC lightweight division, to take on Ferguson. If this fight does happen, Barboza (who is 3-1-0 in his last four fights) will have the opportunity to become the number one contender. The same opportunity is of course available to Ferguson (who is going into the fight with a six-fight winning streak).
The Ultimate Fighter: Team McGregor vs. Team Faber Finale will happen on Friday, December 11, 2015. It will take place in The Chelsea at The Cosmopolitan in Las Vegas, Nevada. The event will be headlined by a featherweight fight between Frankie Edgar and Chad Mendes. Other fights on the card include Joe Lauzon versus Evan Dunham, and Ryan LaFlare versus Mike Pierce.
[Image via Khabib Nurmagomedov’s Official Facebook Page]