Khabib Nurmagomedov will be sidelined for a little while yet, but in the meantime, it looks like the lightweight’s building up some sizeable rivalries from the DL.
The undefeated fighter has been trading barbs with Anthony Pettis for sometime now, and then more recently, Nate Diaz took a shot at “The Eagle” after news of his latest injury surfaced. Nurmagomedov was scheduled to fight Donald Cerrone at UFC 187 on May 223rd, but not long ago, he re-injured his knee and is expected to be out for another five months or so.
The grappling god appeared on the latest episode of “The MMA Hour”, and while discussing his exchanges with Diaz and Pettis, Nurmagomedov stated (quote via MMA Mania.com):
“If you remember, when I’m not top 10 or not top five, I always wanted to fight with these guys because they were high level. But now, I don’t think so. Before, I always ask UFC to please give me an idea. But all this time, these guys are scared and no give answer to UFC. These guys wanted no fight with me. Now, these guys are talking shit because I’m injured. Because I can’t fight now. I can fight these guys both the same night. These guys are easy money for me. These two guys need to shut up because last two fights, they sucked in the fight. You saw how I dominate Dos Anjos, and he smash these guys like jokes. So, these guys need to shut up and train. If UFC give me these fights, I’ll take them. But, I know when I come back and healthy, they will shut up and give no answer to UFC.”
Nurmagomedov may not be a popular fighter with the “just stand-and-bang” demographic, but he’s probably been scoring points with fans who like the trash talk. It should be noted that when Pettis was the champ, he said he was more than willing to face Nurmagomedov, and many believed that scrap would happen. Chances are it probably will at some point.
But, if you were to give the UFC’s lightweight division a lie detector test, and asked them who’s a guy they’d prefer not to fight, Nurmagomedov might just top the list.
The 22-0 fighter hasn’t fought now since last April, when he decisioned reigning champ, Rafael dos Anjos.