Speaking to the Russian newspaper Izvestia this week, Abdulmanap Nurmagomedov, the father of UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov, gave his take on three of the most likely opponents for his son’s next fight: Tony Ferguson, Dustin Poirier and Kevin Lee.
Interestingly, he seems to want both Tony Ferguson and Kevin Lee to fight Islam Makhachev rather than Khabib Nurmagomedov.
Check out a rough translation of what the elder Nurmagomedov had to say about these top lightweights below.
“The fight with Ferguson is interesting from a sports point of view, as this fighter rightfully takes his place. Tony’s level reflects well his winning streak of 11 fights. But I think that it is important to note one more thing: the Russian Islam Makhachev is ready to go against the American even today, and I am sure that Islam will cope with it, since it has gained a good shape.”
“He is in good psychological and physical form, holds spectacular fights, for which it is interesting to watch. But we all understand that where good [striking] skills are present, as a rule, there is a weak stalls.”
“Kevin Lee – fighter for 1-2 rounds, his fight with Ferguson showed it. An insurmountable obstacle in Lee’s career is a duel with the same Islam Makhachev. I think it’s not easy for Kevin to have against Al Iaquinta, with whom he has already met and lost. This could happen again, so in his place I would concentrate on preparing for the battle with Iaquinta, and not on the talks about Khabib.”
Which of these three top lightweights do you think represents the toughest challenge for Khabib Nurmagomedov? What do you think of these comments from Khabib’s father Abdulmanap? Join the conversation in the comments section below.
This article first appeared on BJPENN.COM on 11/19/2018.