Khabib knows 2 things: Tiramisu is delicious and Conor is not a real champion…
Khabib Nurmagomedov does not believe Conor McGregor is a real champion. He isn’t alone in that opinion, either. The old adage fighters used to use in regards to champions was that you weren’t the real champ until you successfully defended the belt. Conor has won 4 titles in his MMA career (2 in UFC & 2 in Cage Warriors) and has never even attempted to defend one of them.
The 29-year-old from Dagestan, Nurmagomedov, has never lost a fight but his career has been hampered by frequent last-minute pull-outs. Not fighting or training during Ramadan has also impacted what fights he has been offered during his time in the UFC.
Recently, the undefeated Nurmagomedov took time to answer questions from fans on the Russian chat network, Hype. Amongst the questions he fielded during the 20-minute chat, were those in regards to Conor’s title reigns and how Khabib feels a champion should carry themselves.
Khabib Nurmagomedov vs. Edson Barboza
Nurmagomedov will face the #4 ranked Edson Barboza in the semi-main event at UFC 219. He’s been scheduled for several fights that have never happened, however.
Barboza may have reason to be worried Khabib doesn’t make it for their fight either. Rumors had been circulating that Khabib was heavier than normal at this point before a fight and was looking at another tough weight cut.
Here is how Khabib responded to these concerns:
“I have plan for cutting weight,” Nurmagomedov said. “I’m gonna cut my left or right leg [off] Friday morning, before weigh-ins. Now we think about this — left or right?”
“I change a lot of things,” Nurmagomedov said. “My weight is perfect. My shape is good. I have three more hard days and I finish all my training camp and focus on making weight. We’ll see. I am not in bad shape. I’m very excited about it. I want to show this.”
Future UFC Lightweight Title Fights
Tony Ferguson has said he wants a title unification bout with Conor in early 2018. Dana White has said, however, that they are running on the belief that Conor won’t be fighting anytime soon.
With Conor seemingly out of the picture, the winner of Barboza vs. Khabib could easily be the next to face Ferguson for the interim belt. There are those who don’t bother to reference the “interim” part of the title, however, feeling that Ferguson is the real champion at this point. You can count Nurmagomedov amongst those.
Khabib Nurmagomedov: Conor McGregor Is Not A Real Champion
Khabib compared Conor’s title reign to Georges St. Pierre’s recent decision to vacate the middleweight title. According to Khabib, that is how a real champion would handle the situation:
“If he doesn’t have injuries, and he doesn’t defend his belt for more than a year, then it’s very bad,” said Nurmagomedov.
“But when you are the champion and you don’t have an injury, you have to defend it. I really liked how Georges St-Pierre acted in a similar situation. Once he understood, that he won’t be able to fight, he didn’t hold his division (in wait). And that’s the decision of a real champion.
“Conor doesn’t defend his belt. I don’t even know when he is going to do that. He has the name, it’s profitable for the UFC that he is the champion. They make money because of him and they won’t strip him off the belt. But in my opinion, Conor had to be stripped off his belt a long time ago. And Tony Ferguson should be the real champion.”