Former UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov is taking aim at Justin Gaethje over wanting the title shot over Islam Makhachev.

Nurmagomedov is a little over a year removed from his announced retirement from MMA after defeating Gaethje at UFC 254. He has remained active in the MMA community, and more specifically in the UFC, as a coach to his fellow Dagestanis such as Makhachev.

Gaethje is coming off of his three-round war with Michael Chandler at UFC 268. He went on to win by a unanimous decision, but it was anything but an easy challenge as Chandler had him in trouble on multiple occasions in the fight.

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Nurmagomedov doesn’t talk trash too much now that he’s away from the octagon, but he found Gaethje’s recent desire for a title shot blasphemous. He commented on a social media post by ESPN in which they highlighted Gaethje’s recent statements about wanting the next title shot.

Khabib Nurmagomedov Defeated Justin Gaethje at UFC 254 by Second-Round Triangle Choke Before Retiring

“In your last eight fights, you got finished three times, Justin,” Nurmagomedov said. “You had an opportunity to become a champion, but you fell asleep. Islam [Makhachev] is on a nine-fight win streak, three fights in 2021, and all finishes. Just shut up and admit that he deserves this title shot, not you.”

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Makhachev is coming off an incredible performance over Dan Hooker at UFC 267, submitting him just seconds into the first round of their fight. Earlier this year, he defeated Thiago Moises in a UFC Fight Night main event that catapulted him into the conversation for a title shot.

Nurmagomedov is clearly wanting the best Makhachev and the rest of the Dagestan fighters, but Gaethje could’ve made a case for a title shot next with his gritty performance against Chandler. Either Gaethje or Nurmagomedov’s protege, Makhachev will more than likely be next in line for the winner of Charles Oliveira and Dustin Poirier.

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Do you agree with Khabib Nurmagomedov that Justin Gaethje doesn’t deserve the next lightweight title shot?

Curtis Calhoun is a Combat Sports Contributor based in Seattle, Washington. After a longtime dream of becoming a sports journalist, he was able to accomplish his goals upon graduating from Washington State University in 2016.