Last night, on the undercard of UFC 205, lightweight contender Khabib Nurmagomedov extended his record to a sparkling 24-0. He did so with an incredible win over a game Michael Johnson. Nurmagomedov achieved this win by soundly out-grappling his foe until he found an opening for a kimura in the third round.
In an interview with MMAFighting.com, which can be seen above, Nurmagomedov explained that he shared quite a few words with his foe over the course of the fight.
“Yeah, I little bit talked with him,” the streaking lightweight explained. “I told him ‘hey, I have to fight for the title, you know this.’ I told him, ‘I don’t want to smash your face, and I already beat you. You have to give up.”
“He kept fighting,” he continued. “He [didn’t] say nothing [back]. He kept fighting back. He gave me a couple punches. I want to give him respect because he called me out, he took this fight, and I gave him very hard, like 15 punches, and I think a lot of people after this [would have been] finished, but he kept fighting. He’s a great guy, a great fighter. He has very big experience fighting with tough guys, and I want to give him respect.”
Nurmagomedov also explained that he encouraged Johnson to tap once he’d locked up the kimura, as he didn’t want to permanently injure him.
“I said ‘be careful,'”he said. “I’m not only a UFC fighter. I know UFC history. I watch all fights, I think maybe all UFC fights, and I know there are a lot of injuries and everything. Like Nogueira versus Mir, like everything, that’s why I take his kimura, I go like slowly, slowly, slowly, slowly. If you can, you have to say ‘be careful,’ and don’t give crazy damage, because if he broke his arm it would never be the same. That’s why I said be careful.”
Having defeated Johnson, Nurmagomedov can probably expect the next UFC lightweight title shot. The circumstances of that shot, however, will depend on the next move of new champ Conor McGregor.
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