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Khabib plans to return in October, expects interim title shot against Ferguson

The Dagestani fighter remains focused on an interim title fight against Tony Ferguson. 

Esther Lin

Three months removed from a squandered title opportunity at UFC 209 due to a difficult weight cut, Khabib Nurmagomedov is still angling for another interim lightweight fight against Tony Ferguson.

During a visit to Tashkent, Uzbekistan with a handful of fighters from his ‘Eagles MMA’ fight club, Nurmagmoedov revealed that he plans to resume training during Ramadan but does not expect to return to competition until the Fall.

"Regarding health - I have nearly completed rehabilitation,” said Khabib (h/t “I will start to train somewhere in the middle of June. The return is planned for October because I need four months of full training. As for the match, I think, that 90 percent I will fight for the interim title."

By Khabib’s planned return date of October 2017, the Dagestani fighter will have spent 11 months on the sidelines since his last outing at UFC 205 in New York. While aware that other contenders have emerged during his absence, Khabib is only interested in the one fight that has eluded him over the past few years.

"Actually, right now the UFC lightweight division is one of the most competitive. In this case, there are many worthy men who will already fight for the title in the near future. Who I'm going to fight is not yet known, but of course I will insist on a fight with Tony Ferguson because now I do not see any other contenders and I do not want to fight with anyone, but to him.”

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