Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC/Getty Images
“Bring your ass March or April,” Abdelaziz said. “Get the ass whippin’ and retire. That’s it—finished.”
Nurmagomedov defeated Dustin Poirier in his last fight at UFC 242 in September. He had been out of action for nearly a year, having served a nine-month suspension for his role in the brawl involving Conor McGregor at UFC 200.
During an appearance in St. Petersburg, Russia, Nurmagomedov said he has “nothing to prove” against McGregor, having submitted the former champion in the fourth round.
“I have to say that Tony Ferguson deserves it more,” the unbeaten star said, per RT. “You have to give him credit. He is on a 12-fight win streak and he deserves it more than Conor. Conor has to come back (and) stop hitting old people. He is a professional fighter. He should come back, win, earn his place and get in line.”
Nurmagomedov echoed Abdelaziz’s comments in adding he’s hopeful of fighting in March or April at Gazprom Arena in St. Petersburg.
Ferguson is the No. 1 lightweight challenger in UFC’s official rankings. His most recent result was a second-round TKO of Donald Cerrone. Doctors stopped the fight due to Cerrone’s right eye being swollen shut.
UFC has attempted to schedule Nurmagomedov vs. Ferguson on multiple occasions, only to see outside circumstances force the company to change directions. Most recently, Ferguson tripped backstage and tore a ligament in his knee, forcing Al Iaquinta to fill in at UFC 223 in April 2018.