They failed to meet in the octagon despite five attempts, but the rivalry between former UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov and Tony Ferguson continues to simmer.
Khabib is currently retiring after going undefeated to the top while Ferguson seeks to rebuild his career against up and coming 155-pound competitor Beneil Dariush at UFC 262 next month.
Despite their different activities these days, Khabib and ‘El Cucuy’ clearly still have time to push each other on social media, as evidenced by a fun back and forth between the two on Wednesday.
Ferguson went on Twitter and shared a clip of his star down with Khabib of UFC 209 in 2017 – ahead of the couple’s preliminary easy title fight that would later break through when the Dagestani was hospitalized for weight loss problems.
“Tira🍮Misu On 2” You’ll # You’ll see MeSoonEnoughBuddy ⚔️🕶 -CSO- 🇺🇸🏆🇲🇽 # 🔱 called it. # ConditioningSucks # KeepRunningFathead -Champ 👣 pic.twitter.com/uKyAwTKcjC
– Tony Ferguson (@TonyFergusonXT) March 31, 2021
Ferguson mocked Khabib for his alleged love of cake, calling the Russian a “father” while adding the hashtag “You’ll see me soon buddy” in retirement.
When it got there, Khabib’s comeback started off pleasantly enough – wishing Ferguson and his family the very best – before impaling him in the classic Russian deadpan style.
“You will soon have a fight, your opponent is very tough and most underestimated in the lightweight division, focus on him,” wrote Khabib.
“I wish you and your family all the best, even if you look like shit.”
You will soon have a fight, your opponent is very tough and most underrated in the lightweight division, focus on him. I wish you and your family all the best, even if you look like shit.
– khabib nurmagomedov (@TeamKhabib) March 31, 2021
The grammatical mistake at the end was the cherry on the tiramisu as you could almost hear Khabib pronounce the words in his inimitable English style.
The fans were certainly amused and shouted, “Khabib Nurmagomedov woke up today and went for ultimate ferocity.”
KHABIB NURMAGOMEDOV WAKE UP TODAY AND CHOOSE ULTIMATE SAVING
– Zoheb MMA (@ZohebMMA) March 31, 2021
While Khabib can afford to let his hair fall after the 29-0 retirement, Ferguson wants to rebuild after two defeats to Justin Gaethje and Charles Oliveira.
The first of those losses – which occurred when Gaethje stood up for Khabib last year amid the Covid-19 pandemic – was a 12-fight streak for the American lightweight.
The 37-year-old Ferguson will try to record the pieces against Iran-born Dariush, 31, who is running a hot six-fight streak after defeating Carlos Diego Ferreira last time in February.
However, Khabib has rejected Ferguson’s ability to recover, saying before his loss to Oliveria: “Tony Ferguson’s time is up. Now he’s going to come back and someone is going to beat him again I believe.
“If you take such damage, you will never be the same – never even if you are Tony Ferguson. He took too much damage.”
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While MMA fans may never have had the desire to see Ferguson and Khabib in the octagon, at least they can continue to enjoy their social media sparing sessions.