Top UFC lightweight Khabib “The Eagle” Nurmagomedov has proven to be one of the elite fighters that the division has to offer, boasting an undefeated 22-0 mixed martial arts (MMA) record including six Octagon victories.
The Dagestani wrestler even owns a rather convincing decision victory over current champion Rafael dos Anjos. The two met back in April 2014, but Nurmagomedov hasn’t competed again since, suffering multiple knee injuries that have sidelined him for over a year and a half.
Recently speaking on his future, “The Eagle” admitted that he’s hoping to return sometime next March, adding that he would be thrilled to rematch dos Anjos for the title in the champion’s home of Brazil.
While he was scheduled to fight twice in the last year, pulling out both times, it’s tough to believe Nurmagomedov when he speaks on a potential return, and he even contemplated retirement after his latest setback.
Now seemingly set on continuing his fighting career, “The Eagle” knows that changes must be made, and while he’s unsure what those changes may consist of, he has vowed to become more “intelligent”, and more “professional”:
“I’ll have to change some things in my training, still do not know what, but I must do something to become more professional. I think I train too hard, but it is not intelligent training. I understand that many people expect to see me struggling, and I understand they are upset not to see me. But I’m also upset not to fight. I’ll try to change something next year.” Nurmagomedov told Bloody Elbow.
Despite being out of action for so long, Nurmagomedov has remained atop the 155-pound division due to the current lack of contenders.
That along with his previous victory over the champion should line “The Eagle” up for quite a big fight upon his return if not an immediate title shot depending on the landscape of the division.
Who should he meet next?