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5 Apr, 2019 16:23

'May God help him': Khabib offers support to Tony Ferguson, hopes 'dream fight' will happen

UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov expressed his support to one of the top contenders in his weight class, Tony Ferguson, who is reportedly going through family and mental health issues.

Nurmagomedov appeared in front of Russian media after his Q&A session with students at the Plekhanov Russian University of Economics in Moscow on Tuesday.The Dagestan native, often reluctant to open up to the media in his homeland following his victory at UFC 229, unsurprisingly faced questions on a range topics.

READ MORE: 'That just shows what kind of lowlife he is’ Khabib responds to McGregor’s ‘insults’

That included on Tony Ferguson, a fighter he has been scheduled to meet as many as four times in the past. It is a bout which in the eyes of the vast majority MMA fans and pundits is the best possible match in the lightweight division, but which is seemingly cursed.

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It had to be called off twice due to health issues with Ferguson, as well as twice for those of Nurmagomedov.

And now, according to multiple reports, the American fighter is going through a battle with mental health issues.        

When asked about Ferguson's situation, Nurmagomedov was sympathetic.

"I really didn't want to go into details, because I myself wouldn’t want to have that sort of attention," he said in Russian.  

"I can only imagine how hard it is for him. Especially since it's about his family. Again, I didn't follow it closely, I just read some things on the internet.

May God give him good health and the best of luck

"Sport is sport, but family is family. And let's hope he'll return. It's very strange to see him away, he has an 11-fight win streak in the lightweight division. And now he’s on the sidelines.

"I guess that just means that at this moment in time he has to go through this test. Each person faces their own challenge. Some people get ill, some people let money or fame go to their heads, some people drink. Someone is a champion who doesn't have time for training.

Also on rt.com Khabib Nurmagomedov reveals UFC 'working on Abu Dhabi in September' for Russian's next fight (VIDEO)

"So each person faces their own challenge. And it looks like he will have to go through his own challenge. Let's hope he'll come out as a winner and come back. And hopefully we’ll fight one day."

When asked whether it's still a dream fight for him, the 30-year-old gave an emphatic response. 

"Yes, it’s a great fight. It's one of the best... Not even one of the best, it’s the most anticipated fight in the UFC.

"I've been told about it by the UFC owners, because they monitor what people say on the internet.

"This is the most anticipated fight at the moment. So let's hope he comes back," he added.