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Khabib Nurmagomedov hints at September return, says he is preparing for war

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Khabib Nurmagomedov is preparing for a war with Tony Ferguson in September.

UFC 249 Khabib v Ferguson: Press Conference Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC

Khabib Nurmagomedov is currently stranded in Russia due to the coronavirus pandemic, but the UFC lightweight champion is hoping to return to the Octagon by September after the COVID-19 emergency has run its course.

The undefeated UFC lightweight champion was originally expected to defend his title against Tony Ferguson at UFC 249 but was forced to withdraw from the event after being flown back to his native Dagestan, where he’s currently under lockdown.

Nurmagomedov posted a personal update on Instagram yesterday and said he is still training hard and preparing for ‘war’ in September.

“But until September, it’s not too far, though it’s hard to believe everything will end by September, but yet one serious person said: That in the peaceful time (sic) you have to prepare for war,” Khabib posted on Sunday.

UFC president Dana White was still planning to go ahead with UFC 249 after Khabib had withdrawn but California governor Gavin Newsom coerced talked ESPN into postponing the event indefinitely.

Nurmagomedov, 31, hasn’t fought since his submission win over Dustin Poirier at UFC 242. Prior to that, ‘The Eagle’ submitted lightweight nemesis Conor McGregor in the UFC 229 main event. Khabib is currently ranked #2 in the UFC men’s pound-for-pound rankings.