UFC President Dana White has responded to accusations that he snubbed former lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov.
The story goes like this, after Charles Oliveira submitted Justin Gaethje in the main event of UFC 274, White announced that ‘Do Bronx’ would be one half of a future vacant lightweight title fight.
Oliveira was of course stripped of his lightweight gold 24 hours prior his fight with ‘The Highlight’, this after he missed the championship limit by half a pound at weigh-ins.
Following the conclusion May’s UFC pay-per-view event, Khabib Nurmagomedov took to his phone where he sent multiple text messages to Dana White pleading for his teammate Islam Makhachev to be the other half of the future vacant lightweight title fight.
“Honestly, this is first time since we started talking to each other that he don’t respond to me,” Khabib told ESPN. “I send him message saying ‘No way someone else can fight for the title. Islam has to be there.’ He don’t respond. I think he was busy, maybe. It was first time. It’s okay. Everybody make mistake.”
In a follow up interview with Dana White just weeks after speaking with Khabib Nurmagomedov, ESPN’s Brett Okamoto asked the UFC boss why he snubbed ‘The Eagle’ (h/t Sportskeeda).
“So what he’s saying is I read the message and didn’t respond to it? Well, it was nothing personal. I got him and Ali [Abdelaziz] all over me about Islam [Makhachev]. There’s no answer, no. I wanted to do that fight with [Islam] and Beneil Dariush.”
Islam Makhachev’s most recent win came over unranked UFC lightweight Bobby Green on short-notice. With that said, Dana White believes the undefeated Russian still needs to get a high profile win before he receives a shot at promotional gold.
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