Khabib Nurmagomedov is still without an opponent after Gilbert Melendez dropped out of their planned UFC 170 bout. The reasons behind Melendez dropping out were pretty vague, it seems it was just a case of bad timing. What we do know is that there aren’t many fighters willing to face ‘The Eagle’.
Nurmagomedov has an outstanding 21-0 record, and is a dynamo at 155. UFC president Dana White took to his twitter account to voice his difficulty in finding an opponent for the Russian Sambo champion:
Nate Diaz had originally been linked to the Russian prospect, but it seems that negotiations had come to a halt for unknown reasons. Props to White for the jab at Diaz there, but one fighter calling out everyone and their mamas is Michael Johnson. ‘The Menace’ just knocked out Gleison Tibau at UFC 168 and is definitely looking for a top opponent:
Johnson’s August 2013 win against Joe Lauzon put him in good standing and his beasting of the veteran Tibau showed that he is still evolving. Fighting out of the Blackzillians is obviously upping Johnson’s game and a fight with ‘The Eagle' could be a barn burner.
As far as the rankings are concerned, Johnson sits at number 13 while Nurmagomedov resides in the seventh spot. The facts that White is so desperate for a replacement and that Johnson is on fire may be the deciding factors in making this exciting match a reality.
Photo credit Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports