Sensational UFC lightweight contender Khabib Nurmagomedov has seen himself bumped from two bookings against Donald Cerrone in the past year, after a string of unfortunate knee injuries set him back in the title race. His placement as top contender in the 155-pound division may have been altered numerically, but his undefeated status and six-fight promotional streak remains valid even though he’s been out for over a year. A win over current lightweight champion Rafael Dos Anjos also puts ‘The Eagle’ in good standing for his eventual return.
The 22-0 Dagestan wrestler stopped by to talk with MMAJunkie Radio this afternoon (Friday July 31st, 2015) and
“One more month recovering my knee, and in September I’ll be ready to train at 100%. I think last time I was a little bit rushed. I spoke with (AKA coach) Javier Mendez, and he said that if the doctor tells me one month recovery, I need to take two. I’ll come back in December. I need to train smart, not crazy like before.”
“When I’m healthy these guys shut up, Dos Anjos worked hard a lot, that’s why he is champion. He smashed Benson, Pettis, Diaz, Cowboy. I think he deserved the title shot because I am injured. It’s very hard watching him fight, because I dominated him. If I fight Pettis or Diaz or Benson, I can beat these guys,”
The training methods of American Kickboxing Academy have come under the spotlight recently, with UFC president Dana White describing the San Jose, California gym as ‘stone aged’. It’s good to hear the Sambo master will be changing up his training methods. On the subject of his comeback, Nurmagomedov says he has one particular fight in mind:
“I believe the (fight with Pettis) is the biggest fight in UFC lightweight division. I think the first fight (between Dos Anjos and Cowboy) is not very interesting. If I fight with Pettis this is a more interesting fight. In Russia, everyone wants me to fight Pettis, maybe the UFC have other plans. I’m not this bullsh*t guy Nate Diaz, he only talks, he lost his last 100 fights. Diaz is an easy fight for me, I want to give my fans respect and take tough fights. “
Notorious Stockton bad boy Nate Diaz has engaged in beef with most of the lightweight division in the past, but really fell short in his latest bout against Rafael Dos Anjos. Still he remains on topic in the MMA world, as even the top contender of the division says he’d be happy to ‘smash’ Diaz:
“I want Pettis, I don’t know if he wants it or not, but all my career I wanted to fight the best guys. Now, I can’t fight (Dos Anjos) because he has the fight (with Cowboy) so Pettis is the best guy to fight. I like easy money, because Nate Diaz is easy money, so if I fight him I’ll smash his face and be happy.”
The lightweight title picture hasn’t changed too much in the last 12 months, but any more time off than his projected December return could be fatal for ‘The Eagle’s’ placement in the division’s upper echelon. At this stage a fight with the former champion ‘Showtime’ would make a lot of sense, if only for their historic rivalry.
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