Khabib responds after Justin Gaethje demolishes Tony Ferguson to win interim title at UFC 249

Khabib responds after Justin Gaethje demolishes Tony Ferguson to win interim title at UFC 249

Justin Gaethje produced the performance of a lifetime to demolish Tony Ferguson and win the interim lightweight title at UFC 249, and one man distinctly impressed was Khabib Nurmagomedov - the fighter he will likely face next, RT reports.

Gaethje picked Ferguson apart almost at will on the way to earning a fifth-round stoppage win at UFC 249 in Jacksonville, Florida.

In a contest far more one-sided contest than most had envisaged, Ferguson's 12-fight win streak coming to a thundering halt at the fists of his fellow American as Gaethje put on a brutally clinical striking masterclass. 

Barring a crunching uppercut which dropped Gaethje at the end of the second round, Ferguson was forced to eat shot after shot as Gaethje hammered his way to the interim lightweight strap and earn a unification shot at Khabib.

The undefeated Russian was among the first to respond to Gaethje's performance on social media, initially offering a "no comment" assessment as Gaethje dealt a potentially fatal blow to the chances of Khabib ever meeting Ferguson in their own long-awaited but repeatedly-postponed bout.

That brief initial post from Khabib was followed by another from his account which praised Gaethje's performance as "impressive," before a lengthier tweet in Russian in which the 155lbs ruler vowed not to back down from a potential showdown.

"In this sport, and especially in this weight there will always be hungry lions that will breathe down your neck, if you relax, then you're finished," Khabib wrote.   "Some leave and others arrive, that's nothing to be surprised about. But I won’t fall before the shot. We will still fight."

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