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Khabib Nurmagomedov angling for late summer title fight

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According to Khabib Nurmagomedov’s manager, the lightweight fighter will be prepared for an Octagon return in August or September. 

Esther Lin

With the holy month of Ramadan approaching, MMA fans are unlikely to see Khabib Nurmagomedov in the UFC Octagon before August or September.

According to ESPN’s Brett Okamoto, Nurmagomedov’s health has been deemed “good” after visiting a physician this week, yet is unlikely to return before the end of summer. The delay in Khabib’s return is likely due to Ramadan, which takes place between May 26- June 24. As a practicing Muslim, the fighter will participate in the fasting mandated of people in his faith before starting a full training camp shortly thereafter.

Nurmagomedov was scheduled to meet Tony Ferguson in a highly anticipated interim title fight at UFC 209. However, the 24-0 fighter was taken to hospital several hours ahead of the weigh-ins after complaining about severe pain in his liver. The fight was cancelled shortly thereafter and it remains unclear whether the UFC will rebook the fight in five months. According to Khabib’s father and longtime mentor Abdulmanap Nurmagomedov, UFC President Dana White wanted to make sure Khabib was healthy to fight before booking him in a fight again.

Abdulmanap also added that he expects the Khabib vs. Ferguson fight to be rebooked in September, as it is the only fight that makes sense:

“There is only Khabib and Ferguson. No more in division of fighters that deserve to fight for the belt.”