Nurmagomedov targeting September return after UFC 209 withdrawal
Khabib Nurmagomedov is aiming to return in September after "weight management issues" forced him to pull out of an interim-lightweight title fight with Tony Ferguson at UFC 209.
Undefeated Nurmagomedov was hospitalised two days prior to the co-main event, which was cancelled on medical recommendation - the third time a scheduled bout between the pair had failed to come to fruition.
However, the 28-year-old is confident of making a comeback and aims to be back in the octagon in around five months.
"You know, I don't remember a lot of things, to be honest. [Before the weigh-in] I knew I am going to a hospital, I feel bad," Nurmagomedov told RT.
"I know that a lot of fans are upset with me about this, and I agree with these guys, because this is one of the biggest fights in Russian MMA. For me, I can make history but I am going to the hospital, you know.
"But sometimes this happens, sometimes you can die, you know. Everybody can die, everybody can [get] sick. Now I need a couple of months, like two or three months. After three months I come for hard training and I want to fight in September.
"I think this is my fault, this is my fault. I know that [my] body doesn't listen to me and I think, I know, this is my fault. How can I say that this is the coach's fault or the diet guy's fault? This is 100 per cent my fault."
Suggestions Ferguson could be Nurmagomedov's opponent in September are not a primary concern for the Russian.
He appreciates well-wishes from his rival in the aftermath, but admitted that has done little to change his feelings about the 33-year-old American.
"To be honest, I don't think about this," he said when asked about a fight with Ferguson. "First of all, I have to stay healthy. This is most important. I don't think about who fights who.
"I feel a little bit better [towards him], but to be honest, you know, when you want to smash somebody so badly, how do you feel about this guy?
"This is my dream fight - a fight with Tony Ferguson. I know I pulled out, but he pulled out one time, too. Nobody talked when he pulled out. When I pull out, everybody talks about this."