UFC Lightweight Khabib Nurmagomedov wants a top-ranked opponent next time out. The Russian is 6-0 in the UFC and last defeated Rafael Dos Anjos in April in dominant fashion.
Nurmagomedov aims to return to the Octagon in September, as he's taken a short sabatical from MMA to celebrate Ramadan. However both the fighter and his manager Mike Constantino have been left confused as Dos Anjos has earned himself a fight with #3 ranked and former Lightweight Champion Benson Henderson.
“I was really hoping for Ben Henderson. He destroyed Rafael dos Anjos, then they gave him to Ben. What else is left for Khabib? He’ll fight anybody. He made it very clear he’ll fight anybody you put in front of him. I’m waiting to see what they have planned for him. My phone’s not going to ring and you’ll hear a ‘No’ on my end. He’ll fight anyone.
“Whoever they propose, he’ll fight. I think he’s clearly, clearly proven himself and that he’s ready to move up in challenges toward the belt. He’s undefeated for the length of his career and you’ll see in the UFC, he has finished people.
"He has manhandled the guys he’s won decisions on. Pat Healy, he picked him over his head and walked across the octagon and slammed him. RDA, he destroyed him. Thiago Tavares, he knocked him out. He’s an animal. He deserves an opportunity to keep marching toward the belt.”
Nurmagomedov may have to wait for after September if he wants to meet a top class opponent. Gilbert Melendez set to meet Anthony Pettis for the 155lbs title in December and Benson Henderson faces Dos Anjos in August.
That leaves Josh Thompson the only higher ranked fighter than the unbeaten Nurmagomedov. Thompson faces Michael Johnson on July 26th, so it's doubtful that whoever wins that fight will be ready for October, regardless of any potential injuries
It seems that 'The Eagle' will have to either wait it out or face a lower-ranked opponent. He could easily face the winner of Donald Cerrone vs Jim Miller, however with their fight being in mid-July, it would be at least the start of October until he fights.
Nonetheless, Nurmagomedov sits in a very nice situation within the division. He's 22-0, waltzed past anyone who's been put in front of him and is extremely close to a title shot.
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