The Russian MMA fighter has blamed himself for missing UFC 209 but says he’ll be back by September
– UFC 209 card was “one of the biggest fights in Russian MMA”
– Takes the blame for missing his clash with Tony Ferguson
– Speaking exclusively with RT Sport in his first English interview since UFC 209
Khabib Nurmagomedov says he “needs a couple of months” before coming back for hard training but told RT Sport he wants to fight again in September. There are talks that Tony Ferguson wants to return to the octagon around the same time.
Nurmagomedov was rushed to hospital, hours before the official weigh-in, with kidney pain which transpired to have been brought on by intense dehydration.
He said, “How can I say that this is the coach’s fault or the diet guy’s fault? This is 100% my fault.”
“I know that a lot of fans are upset with me about this and I agree with this guys. Because this is one of the biggest fights in Russian MMA.”
He added “Sometimes this happens… everybody can (get) sick. Now I need a couple of months. Like two or three months. After three months I come for hard training and I want to fight in September.
Speaking at the opening of his new Eagles MMA gym in Moscow, he told RT Sport “today is a very big day for us” but hailed his sparring partners and coaches for pushing him, claiming the gym “isn’t everything.”
“Most important thing in MMA is you have to work with the best sparring partners – this is most important. If you have very good sparring partners like wrestling, grappling, striking game – you know, the gym is not everything.”
“Now, in Eagles MMA team we have very good fighters. We can work with each other and push each other. We have very good coaches, we have a very good gym. We have everything to push ourselves to a different level.”
Eagles MMA has the biggest team in Russia with gyms across the country in Dagestan, Rostov, Bryansk, Moscow and Vladivostok.