MONDAY NEWS DIGEST 3/6: Khabib Nurmagomedov apologizes for not making UFC 209 co-main event via Instagram (w/Hiscoe’s Analysis)

By Michael Hiscoe, MMATorch contributor

Khabib Nurmagomedov (photo credit Reinhold Matay © USA Today Sports)

Khabib Nurmagomedov has made his first official statement since “weight management issues” forced him out of Saturday’s UFC 209 co-main event against Tony Ferguson. In a post to his Instagram account, Nurmagomedov apologized to his fans and to the UFC and said that his health is “fine.” The post reads:

“Whatever you do or whatever you are, you’ll get something that God has prescribed to you. Alhamdulillah for everything that I Hashem gave during these 28 years, I even got that and asked him to. I know a lot of people were waiting for this fight and I’m all summed up. At the expense of torn battlefield I want to apologize to my fans, UFC, and before my rival. With all my health is good Alhamdulillah, I’ve had worse, but every time I did these tests only stronger. Thank you all for your support. Whoever you are or whatever you do, you’ll get only what God prescribed for you. AlhamduliLlah for everything God gifted me for my 28 years, I got much more than I asked. I know that many people was waiting for this fight and I fail them. Want to bring my apologies for all my fans, UFC and my opponent Tony. My health is fine now, thanks God . These tough testing only makes me stronger. Thank everyone for the support.”

Nurmagomedov failed to appear at the UFC 209 weigh-ins on Friday morning and instead was taken to a Las Vegas hospital due to undisclosed issues surrounding his weight cut. He was noticeably struggling during the media day the day prior, as he was having trouble putting together coherent thoughts and sentences and struggling to maintain his balance. The scheduled Interim Lightweight Title fight with Ferguson was scrapped. Ferguson was paid his show money since he made weight, but turned down a last-minute fight with Michael Johnson, as UFC would not offer him his full championship purse to take the fight.

There has been no announcement on a makeup date for Nurmagomedov vs. Ferguson, or alternative fights for either man.

Hiscoe’s Analysis: Khabib must be really torn up over losing this opportunity because, not only was it an important fight at this point in his career, but a win could have set him up for a massive future payday against Conor McGregor. If Nurmagomedov fails to reach the heights of the sport that many feel he is capable of, we will always be able to point back to that Friday as the unfortunate turning point in his career. McGregor is an anomaly so his whims may help determine what is next for both Nurmagomedov and Tony Ferguson. Ferguson could walk straight into a title fight with McGregor, or McGregor may do something totally different. In the end, it’s up to him. Nurmagomedov has missed weight before, not egregiously like a Johny Hendricks, but he will need to get that in check before UFC invests in him again.


-Mark Hunt did not break his tibia during his UFC 209 fight against Alistair Overeem as was originally reported. Hunt had originally shared the news via Instagram, but his camp has since told MMA Fighting that it is not broken and is just sore. (SOURCE)

-After seeing the UFC Welterweight Title fight between Tyron Woodley and Stephen Thompson, Middleweight Champion Michael Bisping told TMZ Sports, “If they’re the best welterweights in the world, then I should f— up GSP.”

-Also speaking to TMZ Sports cameras, Nate Diaz said he is keeping his options open regarding a professional boxing match or a UFC fight, but that no one wants to fight him.

NOW CHECK OUT YESTERDAY’S UPDATE: SUNDAY NEWS DIGEST 3/5: Scorecard controversy and analysis following Woodley’s victory over Thompson at UFC 210 (w/Hiscoe’s Analysis)

(MMATorch’s Daily News Digest features the top story of the day with added analysis, plus smaller tidbits in the News Notes section. Mike Hiscoe, who writes the News Digest Sundays through Thursdays, has a background in film criticism and previously wrote for the DVD Town and Movie Metropolis websites. His passion for Mixed Martial Arts goes back to 2005, but it was in the promotion for UFC 60: Hughes vs. Gracie that he really got hooked.”This is my house, I build it,” is still among the all-time great UFC promos. You can follow Mike on social media under the tag @mikehiscoe. He now provides his experienced writing and perspective on live MMA events for MMATorch.)

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