Three years ago, leading up to UFC 223, the most memorable media event in UFC history happened: the UFC 223 conference call. Most of its memorability was due to the entertaining back and forth between Tony Ferguson and Khabib Nurmagomedov, who were slated for the co-main event before it fell apart after Ferguson was injured.
During the call, Ferguson was working out while saying things we have only come to expect from Tony, like: “I’m going to take you into deep waters. I’m going to leave you out there with no [expletive] snorkel.” Khabib, who had trouble understanding the mind of “El Cucuy,” was confounded. “To be honest, I didn’t understand your English. You talk like stupid guy,” said Nurmagomedov.
“Your mind is, like, stupid.”
A lot has happened since then, inside and outside of the sport. Most of all, we learned of Ferguson’s struggles with mental health. As such, we probably will not be seeing the same lines from Nurmagomedov.
When asked about Tony’s mental health, Khabib said: “I don’t want to talk about his problem; like family stuff, mental stuff. This is his problem, leave him alone … Everybody who sit here have problem; nobody’s safe. If he need help, we have to help him, but we’re gonna fight.”
This was after Cageside Press reporter Rodney James Edgar was berated by Ferguson for asking a question about his mental health. Ferguson does not want to talk about this subject, and it seems Khabib is obliging him.