After being sidelined for months due to knee and rib injuries, Nurmagomedov is finally scheduled to make his Octagon return on April 16th. The grappling titan was scheduled to fight fellow contender Tony Ferguson, but after he went down recently with a lung injury, newcomer Darrell Horcher was brought in.
Well, Nurmagomedov appeared on the latest “MMA Hour” to discuss his upcoming bout, and while doing so, he stated this (quote via MMA Mania.com):
“I have new opponent, I have new name and new weight class at 160. My reaction was like, ‘Okay, I have to watch this guy, who is this guy?’ He has 12 wins and one loss, not a bad record. He is lightweight champion somewhere else, and I watch his fights. He is a southpaw with very hard left punch, left kick. When I go to the cage, I’ll go like a championship fight because if I lose this fight, I lose everything. I have to win. I cannot relax and think this guy is a new guy in UFC, you know. I don’t think like this. I have to focus on my fight like I am fighting ‘Cowboy’ or Ferguson or something like this. I have to come back and I have to win this fight.”
“The Eagle’s” take on this situation shouldn’t come as a surprise. After all, he is the last man to defeat the champ Rafael dos Anjos, plus, he’s never been defeated, so, if he loses to Horcher it would be an upset of epic proportions. But would Nurmagomedov “lose everything”? Not really.
Since he hasn’t fought in over two years, it’s not like the UFC brass is going to rule him out as a contender if he loses. Further, Nurmagomedov is only 27 years old, so he will have plenty of time to recover, if, he’s defeated. Really, one could make the argument that if you’re going to fight Nurmagomedov, now is probably the bes time to do so.
UFC on FOX 19 will be headlined by a light-heavyweight title fight between contenders Glover Teixeira and Rashad Evans.