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Khabib Nurmagomedov Explains Why He’s Not Interested in Fighting Nate Diaz Anymore

Kelsey Mowatt

Khabib Nurmagomedov

After telling the MMA world that he’s asked the UFC to match him up against Nate Diaz next, Khabib Nurmagomedov has apparently decided to change course…

As you almost certainly heard, at WSOF 22 last Saturday, ¬†Nurmagomedov and the Diaz brothers got into a little scuffle. Nurmagomedov and Nate Diaz have exchanged verbal jabs in the past, but following the incident, “The Eagle” made it clear he wants to fight the lightweight.

Well, according to a recent report from Bloody Elbow.com, which cites a story from To Fight.ru, Nurmagomedov has changed his mind. Here is some of what the grappling titan had to say:

“If I take a fight with [Nate] Diaz, then I won’t get respect from my fans,” Khabib¬†said. “Everyone knows this is an easy fight for me.”

“I need to respect his fans,” Khabib added.”They want me to fight in fierce battles against the best opponents. I have to respect my fans and I will accept the challenge against only the best athletes.”

Wow. This might be the biggest insult of all to Diaz, although, many likely agree with Nurmagomedov on this. After all, we are talking about a guy who holds a win over Rafael dos Anjos, who in turn, cruised through Diaz last December. Diaz is a ridiculously game and talented fighter, no question, but considering what Nurmagomedov has showcased in his UFC run to date, he’d be a huge favorite to win the bout.

In addition, when you consider that Diaz is ranked #14, and Nurmagomedov is positioned at #3, he has little to gain by fighting the Stockton fighter. You also have to wonder if the UFC would even want to book this fight, since Nurmagomedov is knocking on the door for a title shot.

It will be interesting to see what the UFC decides to do with Khabib. Dos Anjos will defend the belt versus Donald Cerrone later this year, so Nurmagomedov needs a fight in the interim. He has yet to fight in 2015 due to a knee injury.

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