Khabib Nurmagomedov has revealed his targeted return date to the octagon as he hopes to finally fight Tony Ferguson.
Nurmagomedov was scheduled to fight Tony Ferguson for the interim lightweight championship at UFC 209 on 4 March, with the winner expected to face Conor McGregor for the real title.
However, the fight was called off after "The Eagle" suffered from "weight management medical issues", with his manager revealing he had pain near his liver.
It took Nurmagomedov a while to speak about the events that saw him miss out on going one step closer to UFC gold as he eventually apologized to the fans before stating that he hoped to fight in September.
However, the 28-year-old is now targeting a return in October as he plans on training during Ramadan after nearly completely rehabilitation.
"Regarding health - I have nearly completed rehabilitation," Khabib said, as quoted on Bloody Elbow. "I will start to train somewhere in the middle of June. The return is planned for October because I need four months of full training. As for the match, I think, that 90 percent I will fight for the interim title."
In Nurmagomedov's absence, Ferguson has been looking for a replacement interim title opponent with Nate Diaz at the top of his list, but the Stockton-native has not reciprocated the interest. Edson Barboza also believes he has a claim at fighting for the interim title, however, Nurmagomedov still only wants to face "El Cucuy" despite a bout between the two failing to come to fruition three times now.
"Actually, right now the UFC lightweight division is one of the most competitive," he added. "In this case, there are many worthy men who will already fight for the title in the near future."
"Who I'm going to fight is not yet known, but of course I will insist on a fight with Tony Ferguson because now I do not see any other contenders and I do not want to fight with anyone, but to him.