Last night, on the undercard of the stacked UFC 205, Dagestan’s Khabib Nurmagomedov put his flawless, 23-o record on the line against venomous striker Michael Johnson. Though he was given some trouble by his foe’s striking in the early going, Nurmagomedov ultimately came out on top, brutalizing his opponent on the mat until he found an opening for a kimura in the third round. With this win, the Russian star now sits at a sparkling 24-0 overall.
The more impressive Nurmagomedov’s record gets, the more difficult it becomes to argue that he deserves a shot at lightweight gold. Tony Ferguson, who recently defeated Rafael Dos Anjos in an incredible, five-round war, is also banging on the door of a title shot, but it’s hard to deny that Nurmagomedov is next in line.
Moments after his submission win over Johnson, Nurmagomedov was joined in the Octagon by UFC color commentator Joe Rogan. In his interview with Rogan, the undefeated Russian attempted to erase any doubt about his status as number one contender with a rousing post-fight speech.
In this speech, Nurmagomedov spat some fire in the direction of Conor McGregor, who won the lightweight belt by knocking out Eddie Alvarez in the evening’s main event.
“I want to stay humble,” Nurmagomedov said. “But I have to talk, because your guys talk too much, and you know what’s interesting? I understand how crazy powerful the UFC PR machine is. [Conor McGregor] beginning of the year, he tapped like a chicken, end of the year, he fight for the title. Crazy.”
“I want a fight with your chicken, because this is the number-one easy fight in the lightweight division,” he continued.
Do you think McGregor vs. Nurmagomedov is the next fight to make at lightweight? Let us know what you think in the comments section, PENN Nation!