Cruz reclaimed the bantamweight title last Sunday by earning a split decision win over TJ Dillashaw, after undergoing three, yes three, ACL surgeries. Although injuries haven’t cost Nurmagomedov a UFC title, he has been sidelined since April, 2014, when he defeated now reigning champ Rafael dos Anjos.
So, after relaying on a recent episode of “The MMA Hour” that Cruz would understand what he’s been through, Nurmagomedov said this (quote via MMA Fighting.com):
“I’ve never spoken with him (Cruz), I’ve never meet this guy, but you know, this guy is one of the greatest of all-time and I want to meet him. I speak with Daniel Cormier about him. Daniel Cormier say he’s very good guy, very humble, and he understands MMA very good. I think that’s why his mental (strength), in my opinion, is very tough. Nobody can beat him about mental (strength), and I think that’s why he comes back very strong.”
“The Eagle” hasn’t been booked for his next bout but Nurmagomedov is expected to return in the first quarter of 2016.