The Eagle has landed… at 145? Khabib Nurmagomedov makes a dramatic announcement…
Khabib Nurmagomedov recognizes that his division is being held up by Conor McGregor’s refusal to defend his crown. Meanwhile, interim champion Tony Ferguson is holding out for a fight against “The Notorious”. He has already rejected a potential matchup with Khabib. “The Eagle” is smart enough to realize that he needs to make a dramatic move if he hopes to stay relevant.
If – and let’s be honest it is a big if – Khabib has the discipline to make 145 he could be an absolute destroyer. A potential title fight against Max Holloway would be a genuinely brilliant event. When you look at how “Blessed” has demolished the featherweight division, a fight against Khabib could be the best option for two incredibly talented fighters.
In a shocking twist, Khabib Nurmagomedov has announced that after fighting Edson Barboza at UFC 219, he is seriously considering dropping to featherweight. Khabib is one of the most ferocious fighters at 155, he is the number two ranked lightweight. The Sambo fighter has a remarkable unbeaten MMA record with 8 wins in the UFC and 24 victories overall. In an interview with the UFC’s Megan Olivi he said:
His Own Worst Enemy
Khabib has a terrible record with injuries. It is a worry for many about the future of his career at the highest level. He’s fought just three times in three and a half years, missing all of 2015. He’s also infamously had weight cut issues with his discipline being questioned. Did he or did he not eat that tirimasu on fight week of UFC 209?
It doesn’t matter because he was rushed to hospital because of weight cut issues. The man he was meant to fight, Tony Ferguson, is now interim UFC champion.Changes were clearly necessary.He told Olivi:
“I think because all my life I train hard basically the injuries come. But now, the last couple of years I change a lot of things. It’s working too, you know, now I train a little bit smart, and take care of myself.”
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The Gateway to Russia
“To be honest I am thinking next fight maybe I am going to 145. We are thinking about this but I am focused on Barboza. But we’ll see – maybe 145. We’re going to see with my team. We’re going to see how I feel Friday morning. We’ll see, we’ll see, we’re going to make plan.”
Let’s hope he has turned a corner, because Khabib is without doubt one of the most exciting and effective fighters in MMA today. In his last run out, he took on Michael Johnson – who has since dropped to featherweight – and totally shut him down. Incredibly he was actually heard pleading with Johnson to just give up because he was taking too much damage.
The full interview can be seen below.
In Khabib and Zabit Magomedsharipov, the UFC have two incredibly skilled fighters who could finally open the gateway to the Russian market. Will the Eagle stay at lightweight or is his future at featherweight? One thing is certain: it’s going to be violent and it’s going to be dramatic.