A day before his highly anticipated interim lightweight scrap with Tony Ferguson at UFC 209 this past Saturday, Khabib Nurmagomedov – the division’ No. 1 contender was forced to pull out of the bout due to severe weight cutting issues. Until now, the Dagestan fighter has kept mute.

Per MMAFighting:

“Whoever you are or whatever you do, you’ll get only what God prescribed for you.

AlhamduliLlah for everything God gifted me for my 28 years, I got much more than I asked. I know that many people was waiting for this fight and I fail them.

Want to bring my apologies for all my fans, UFC and my opponent Tony.

My health is fine now, thanks God. These tough testing only makes me stronger.

Thank everyone for the support.”

This is only the second time in the 28-year-old’s UFC tenure he’s had weight cutting issues that have impacted (minor impact) a proposed contest – UFC 160, where he forfeited a percentage of his purse to Abel Trujillo for weighing in at 158. 5 lb.

Nevertheless, this also makes the third time Nurmagomedov vs. Ferguson has been booked, and on each occasion, the fight has fallen through – twice on the part of the former, and once on the latter.

No word as of yet, as to whether their 155 joust will be rebooked for a fourth time of asking.

Neither are we privy to what’s next for Nurmagomedov (24-0 MMA, 8-0 UFC) or Ferguson (22-3 MMA, 12-1 UFC).

Maybe “The Eagle” will take time out to recuperate before returning to the cage, or maybe he’ll jump up to welterweight to avoid the drastic weight cuts at lightweight.

With regards Ferguson, a tilt at the lightweight title presently in the ownership of Conor McGregor might be in the offing, but don’t hold your breath, as “The Notorious” has his own itinerary, viz. a projected boxing match with retired pound-for-pound great Floyd Mayweather Jr.

In addition, the Hibernian is expecting the birth of his first progeny. And then there’s the small matter of wanting a stake in the WME-IMG promotion.

So, Nurmagomedov, Ferguson, titles; interim or legit, for now, are on the back burner.