The next fight of Khabib Nurmagomedov will take place only in April, but he is already preparing for the third defense of the UFC lightweight title. This concentration is very understandable, because Tony Ferguson, the first number in the division’s rating, will become his rival. In addition, it is the American who is considered the only athlete in the world who can prevail over an undefeated Russian fighter.
Nevertheless, Khabib not only develops fighting skills, but also devotes time to other sports. So, during the break of one of the training sessions, he and his comrades had a basketball game, during which he was remembered for a spectacular two-point shot. The champion turned out to be the quickest in the selection and sent the ball to the basket from the turn. The teammates were so impressed with Nurmagomedov's actions that they did not notice a run on his part.
Habib himself posted this episode on his Instagram and did not forget to mention one of the greatest basketball players in history.
“I just love this game. Michael Jordan, where are you? ”Wrote Nurmagomedov.
Both athlete MMA and basketball players were quick to comment on the athlete’s publication. So, ex-UFC champion Luke Rockhold also drew attention to the fact that Nurmagomedov made a run, and the defender of Khimki and the Russian national team, Sergei Karasev, praised his compatriot's skills.
“Not bad at all,” the athlete wrote.
View this Instagram post
Posted by Khabib Nurmagomedov (@khabib_nurmagomedov) Dec 4, 2019 at 12:42 pm PST
Failed dope test
However, a day ago information appeared in the network that the fight between Nurmagomedov and Ferguson was again under threat. Earlier, the UFC has already tried four times to organize this fight, but each time the injury of one of the athletes interfered. But this time, the alleged problems of the Russian with doping could become the reason.
“Khabib Nurmagomedov failed the USADA doping test, a high level of ostarin was found in his blood. His fight with Tony Ferguson was in serious jeopardy, ”a meeting on the Akolia Twitter page said.
The reliability of information on Nurmagomedov’s problems with doping on the move raised serious doubts. Firstly, this page is not official, and I'm Notorious’s username is a reference to the main opponent of the Russian - Conor McGregor. At the same time, the Irishman himself did not stand aside and liked the message.
It is worth noting that on the same day, the manager of the Russian Ali Abdel-Aziz published a mysterious message on his social network, in which he urged the UFC fighters not to cooperate with the American Anti-Doping Agency (USADA).
“If you are a UFC fighter and you are trying to find USADA to contact directly, never do this. Because their job is to write disqualifications. Either we, or they, ”Abdel-Aziz wrote on Twitter.
Some attributed this to unconfirmed rumors about Nurmagomedov’s doping test and thought that such statements by the manager could confirm Khabib’s problems with anti-doping services. But later he clarified his position.
“USADA helps eliminate cheaters. Sometimes I do not agree with his decisions, but it is necessary to keep the sport clean, ”concluded Abdel-Aziz.
Breaking News @ TeamKhabib has failed the USADA test for high levels of ostarine. His fight with @TonyFergusonXT is in major doubt. And this is why the fucking @ AliAbdelaziz00 tweeted something about USADA to not pick a call from them. @ ufc @ danawhite @ mmaballer13_ # UFC246- Meet Akolia (@ iam_notorious22) December 4, 2019
Bisping's Expectation and McCarthy's Confidence
Meanwhile, in the world of MMA, they are already in full expectation of a future title fight in lightweight. So, former UFC middleweight champion Michael Bisping admitted that he had long been waiting for a duel between Nurmagomedov and Ferguson.
“This is a grand event. Finally, Khabib Nurmagomedov will fight with Tony Ferguson. I say “finally”, but how will it really be? Everyone wants to see this confrontation. We have said countless times that if anyone deserves to compete for the title, then this is Ferguson. He just beat Serrone, he has a series of 12 victories, in addition, he wins spectacularly, ”BJPenn.com quotes Bisping.
The briton expressed confidence that the battle for the lightweight title would cause a huge stir among the public, and suggested who could become the next contender for the belt.
“They tried to organize this fight four times already, so everyone is waiting for him like that. I think the numbers will be impressive. A lot will be collected from paid broadcasts. In addition, the right time was chosen - if McGregor takes the upper hand over Serrone, he will be able to fight the winner (the battle between Nurmagomedov and Ferguson. - RT ). But for this he needs to go through Donald, ”concluded Bisping.
At the same time, the former referee, and now Bellator commentator John McCarthy, believes that Nurmagomedov should be extremely responsible for a duel with Ferguson. According to him, the Russian champion is not able to break vis-a-vis either physically or psychologically.
“Habib can tell Tony everything he wants. But he should understand that each word will be answered by two. He should not even think about mentally breaking it - it will not work, ”McCarthy quoted The Body Lock as saying.
According to him, earlier Nurmagomedov met opponents whom he was capable of both exhausting in a cage and demoralizing him before the start of the fight, but Ferguson was not one of them. In addition, Big John gave the champion some tips in terms of wrestling technique.
“In the camp, Habib should work on how he holds his head. It should be strictly in the center - along the line from the chest to the chin. If he starts to deflect it to the side, he will have problems, ”said McCarthy.
Apparently, the commentator alludes to Ferguson's skills in Brazilian jiu-jitsu. He owns a wide variety of suffocating and painful techniques, which he repeatedly demonstrated in battles. So, just remember his victory over Kevin Lee, Edson Barbosa and Lando Vannata.