UFC legend Jose Aldo accuses Khabib Nurmagomedov of running from him

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UFC legend Jose Aldo said that Khabib Nurmagomedov turned down an opportunity to fight him back in 2016.

The Brazilian was perhaps the most intimidating fighter in UFC during his pomp, winning the featherweight championship and defending it several times before losing to Conor McGregor in 2015.

Things went south for Aldo after his defeat to the Irishman as he lost five out of the eight fights that followed. However, he has won his last two bouts against Marlon Vera and Pedro Munhoz, this one coming at UFC 265 in August.

However, Khabib reacted to Aldo's resurgence with a touch of condescension, calling him a businessman who was more focused on making money than being a dominant figure in the sport.

The Russian said: "He got beat up when he fought … Petr Yan, right? 

"A guy wins one fight and everyone starts talking. When Conor McGregor fought Donald 'Cowboy' Cerrone, he looked like a lion. When he fights stronger opponents, he looks like a scared chicken. Fighting top fighters shows your worth.

"Let Aldo fight Petr the same way. Then we can say he’s peaking again. You saw what he did. He closed up and waited for the ref to stop the fight. That shows that you’re not at your peak.

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"If you’re getting hit and you’re conscious and you’re not defending yourself, I call those fighters businessmen. They come out to make money."

Aldo hit back at those claims by saying that the Russian had the opportunity to fight him in 2016 but turned it down. 

"Sometimes Khabib talks too much. He’s not doing much these days, he’s retired, so he’s looking for [attention] that way," he said, as per MMA Fighting.

"I was traveling when [my coach] 'Dede' [Pederneiras] called me. The [UFC] had offered me this fight and we took it. I said, 'What? I want that, I’m in.' I respect everybody, but that opportunity… I was the featherweight champion, and [Nurmagomedov] didn’t think it was a good [idea].

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"I don’t know if he was expecting to fight somebody else, I don’t know what he was thinking at the time. I think it could have been a great fight.

"I wanted to test myself. Everybody always asks me… It’s funny, everybody thinks I train wrestling a lot. No, man, I usually do the same training with my team, so, to me, it would have been a really tough test.

"I’ve always fought against American wrestling and it was hard to take me down, so it would be a tough test against him, if he would be able to impose his takedown game against me knowing that I have pretty good takedown defence as well."

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ENTER GIVEAWAY

There have been reports claiming that Aldo could fight next month, with ESPN saying that the Brazilian could take on Rob Font.

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