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Khabib: I lacked motivation against McGregor and Poirier, but Ferguson is ‘worthy opponent’

Khabib Nurmagomedov says he didn’t have the same motivation in his last four fights compared to now that he’s once again slated to face Tony Ferguson.

UFC 242: Khabib v Poirier Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images

For the last two years, Khabib Nurmagomedov fought the top-ten fighters in the UFC lightweight division. But apparently, those four fights weren’t that motivating for the undefeated 155-pound champion.

In a recent media scrum in Dagestan, “The Eagle” also said he feels that fire burning inside him again, now that he’s slated to face Tony Ferguson whom he calls a “worthy opponent.”

I will train hard. With every fight, I gain more and more experience. I’m getting older, I am 31. I think it’s the peak age of a fighter’s career. Of course, I will train more for this fight because I got a worthy opponent. He is very good and very dangerous opponent.

And to be honest, I lacked this motivation for my last fights. Iaquinta, Conor, Barboza, Poirier. They’re not the same as Tony Ferguson. That’s why I feel that fire burning inside me again.

Ferguson and Khabib are scheduled to face each other for the fifth time on April 18th in Brooklyn. “El Cucuy” signed his contract late last week after negotiations with the UFC brass that he described as “smooth as a bumpy road.”