Footage has surfaced that shows exactly what Khabib Nurmagomedov was saying to a rather bemused Dana White as he rested in between rounds while facing Edson Barboza last Saturday night.
25 fights, 25 wins and not a single loss.
The record of the UFC’s terrifying sambo master Khabib Nurmagomedov is a testament to his impeccable skills as a grappler, yes, but after moving his UFC record to 9-0 with a brutal display against the highly-dangerous Edson Barboza, he proved that his mental toughness is beyond any question.
After being forced into a layoff that lasted almost 14 months, Nurmagomedov didn’t look to have lost a step at all. In fact, it could well be argued that he put forth his finest performance to date against an opponent who perhaps provided him with his toughest test from a stylistic point of view.
The judges saw it about as lopsidedly as we did at home – with them calling it 30-25, 30-25 and 30-24 and really, it does have to be considered amongst the most dominant victories we’ve ever seen inside the octagon and certainly within the category of fights contested between two top five-ranked opponents.
At UFC 205 in November of 2016, Khabib put a similarly tough beating on the long-time contender Michael Johnson and infamously spoke to the UFC president Dana White in between rounds, letting him know that he would one day defeat his greatest star, Conor McGregor, and in his match-up at UFC 219 last weekend, the Russian once again took some time out of his one-minute rest in between rounds to have something of a chat with the promotion’s head honcho.
This guy is one scary individual, that’s for sure, but for those who couldn’t make out exactly what it was that he told Dana, he said the following in his post-fight press conference.
“After the first round, I said, ‘Dana, do you want to talk with me?. He said, ‘Yes, let’s go.’ Let’s do one more round like this, and after that I want to tell him something.
“After the second round, I asked him, ‘What do you think about the performance?’ He said, ‘I’m sure you’re going to take this.’ I want to enjoy this.”
He’s a pretty unique character in the sport, it must be said, but with him now in pole position to earn a shot at either Tony Ferguson’s interim belt or Conor McGregor’s undisputed one, expect to hear a lot more about Nurmagomedov over the course of the coming year.
Cillian Cunningham, Pundit Arena