Undefeated lightweight Khabib Nurmagomedov is looking for his next matchup inside the Octagon. In a recent interview with MMAJunkie.com Nurmagomedov’s manager Mike Constantino revealed his athlete will be ready to go from September onwards:
“Khabib is ready to go from September on,” Constantino said. “He had the Ramadan committed, so he couldn’t accept any fights.”
The 25-year old had to turn down facing top contender Donald Cerrone in the main event of UFC Fight Night 45 due to his religious commitments. And with Nurmagomedov being so highly ranked there’s only a limited amount of fighters he can be put up against. According to Constatino, “The Eagle” will fight anyone.
“I was really hoping for Ben Henderson,” Constantino said. “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.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 has certainly earned the right to face off against the best in the division with his current winning streak; which is the longest in the weight class. The Avar-Dagestani-born fighter could even make a claim for the next title shot but he would rather take another fight than wait for the winner of Anthony Pettis and Gilbert Melendez who fight in December.
“I made it clear: Khabib will fight anyone; they just need to get him the right offer,” Constantino said. “The lightweight division is log-jammed, the champion isn’t active, so it’s time to just get these guys fights and keep them moving.”
It’s quite unfortunate that Henderson has been booked to face Dos Anjos because “Bendo” would have been perfect for Nurmagomedov. It looks like he’s going to have to look a little further down the rankings for an opponent unless he wants to wait on the sidelines for a few months.
Photo: David Manning for USA TODAY Sports