UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov described potential challenger Tony Ferguson as a "stupid guy."
Nurmagomedov also explained to ESPN's Brett Okamoto (via Damon Martin of MMA Fighting) he doesn't expect to face Ferguson in the future after several failed attempts to schedule a head-to-head clash:
"Nobody can be the same for a long time. Not Tony Ferguson, not Khabib, nobody. One day, someone gonna beat you, or something gonna happen. God don't give to nobody, power, reaction, mental, everything in one level always. One day, it's going to go down, and his day came in May. I understand, Tony Ferguson's time is finished.
"Now he's going to come back, someone going to beat him again, I believe. Because when you take damage like this, you never going to be the same. Never ever. Even if you're Tony Ferguson. He takes too much damage. You see how he tapped, how he gave up end of the five rounds?"
Ferguson was set to take on the lightweight champ in April, but the bout was canceled because of travel restrictions related to the coronavirus pandemic. He faced off with Justin Gaethje instead in early May and suffered a loss by fifth-round knockout.
It marked the end of a 12-fight winning streak for the 36-year-old American, whose last loss came against Michael Johnson in May 2012.
Nurmagomedov remains undefeated with a 28-0 career MMA record. His last fight was a submission triumph over Dustin Poirier in September 2019.
He's scheduled to put the lightweight title on the line against Gaethje, the interim champ, in the main event of UFC 254 on Oct. 24.
The Russian standout told Okamoto he isn't sure why Ferguson keeps calling him out:
"He keeps talking about me. Why you talking about me? Justin Gaethje smash you everywhere, why you keep talking about me? You want to promote yourself? OK, I agree with you, but if you really want to keep talking about me and this is something special or this put you in good position, this shows your mind. This shows your weakness."
It's surprising they've never faced off inside the Octagon since they've each spent so much time near the top of the lightweight division, and now it sounds like the matchup may never happen.
While Khabib prepares for UFC 254, Ferguson's next bout hasn't been scheduled.