Khabib Nurmagomedov (24-0) reminded the world exactly why he feels like he is the number 1 contender in the UFC’s heavily stacked lightweight division last weekend at UFC 205. His three-round matchup with crafty striker Michael Johnson – for the most part – was a tour-de-force in grappling from the Dagestan-native.
Khabib, in the eyes of many (including himself) is the undisputed number-one contender in the 155lb division, despite the looming presence of Tony Ferguson in the title picture. Khabib’s unbeaten MMA career has seen him pretty much destroy anyone who has had the misfortune to end up in his path.
He holds a highly impressive decision win over former champion Rafael dos Anjos from 2014 and in his eight UFC fights, has shown more than enough skill to prove his championship-level talent.
The one thing that has held the ‘Eagle’ back from his title-aspirations are his injuries, which between the aforementioned dos Anjos bout and his comeback fight against Darrell Horcher, saw him sitting on the sidelines for two whole years.
Now, with a dominant win under his belt, Khabib has quickly become the most-talked about candidate for the newly-crowned lightweight champion, Conor McGregor’s first title defence.
Today, the UFC’s official YouTube account uploaded the latest edition in their popular “The Thrill & the Agony” series, with this episode revolving around last weekend’s historic UFC 205 event.
In the video, there is a short section – with clear audio – taken from Nurmagomedov’s bout.
In this short section, Khabib is controlling top position while the helpless Johnson is trapped underneath the sambo-master, eating big shots all the while. Khabib can be heard telling Johnson, “You have to give up. I need to fight for the title, you know this. I deserve it.”
The sense of certainty found in the voice of the Russian when he speaks about his destiny is quite apparent and most believe that the unbeaten Eagle poses a very real threat to anyone at 155lbs.
From there, the footage jumps to Khabib – in between rounds – shouting across at UFC president Dana White, assuring him that if he does indeed get his shot at the belt – specifically Conor McGregor – that his victory would be set in stone.
Speaking from his stool in the direction of White, Khabib had this to say.
“Hey! Be careful, I’m going to smash your boy,” to which Dana replied, “Just get through this first.”
Earlier today Khabib posted an ultimatum of sorts from his official Twitter account, specifically aimed at Dana White, stating he would not fight again if they denied him his title-shot any longer.
— khabib nurmagomedov (@TeamKhabib) November 16, 2016
It doesn’t appear as though Khabib will take no for an answer with this one. He seems like a man with a lot of conviction so watch this space as this story develops in the coming weeks.
You can watch UFC 205 : The Thrill & the Agony below.
Cillian Cunningham, Pundit Arena
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