Khabib Nurmagomedov revealed UFC president Dana White has been ignoring his text messages after insisting that Islam Makachev deserves to fight Charles Oliveira for the lightweight title in his next fight.
Makhachev, 30, climbed to fourth in the official rankings after brutally dispatching Bobby Green, 35.
Oliveira, meanwhile, was stripped of the 155lb belt after failing to make weight for his most recent defence against Justin Gaethje earlier this month – but is still widely viewed as the champion.
The pair are expected to face-off later this year, but Nurmagomedov told ESPN that White apparently left him on read after making a case for his longtime friend and teammate to fight for the title next.
Nurmagomedov said: “Honestly, this is first time since we started talking to each other that he don’t respond to me.
“I send him message saying ‘No way someone else can fight for the title. Islam has to be there.’
“He don’t respond. I think he was busy, maybe. It was first time.
“It’s okay. Everybody make mistake. He’s going to come back stronger.
“I hear they want to make a big show in Brazil in December.
“Okay, December is good for Islam. They don’t want to go to Abu Dhabi to fight with Islam? Okay.
“I hear Charles Oliveira’s coach say, ‘Come to Brazil.’ No problem. Send us location.
“We’ll go to Rio de Janeiro, Sao Paulo, no problem.
“We’re going to come there two weeks before fight, rent some big house, come with big team, make weight – not like Charles Oliveira – and we’re going to finish Charles Oliveira on his game, on the ground, on Brazilian land.
“We’re going to teach all fans what is top control, how we finish people. We’re going to take the belt and go back.
“We’re going to win the hearts of Brazilian fans. They’re going to love Islam’s ground game. We’ve grappled together all our lives and I see how Islam goes with a lot of ADCC level guys, even ADCC champions, they tap when they roll with Islam.
“It’s going to be a big dream of his to fight Charles Oliveira in Brazil, finish him on the ground, take his belt and go home. This is going to be a legacy fight for Islam.”