Tag Archive for Khabib

Khabib Nurmagomedov vs. Donald Cerrone possible for later this year

Though it’s been talked about for quite a while, it looks like a lightweight bout between contenders Donald Cerrone and Khabib Nurmagomedov might finally be on the verge of coming together.

As reported on UFC Tonight on Wednesday, a fight between the two top-five lightweights is being discussed for later this year, though nothing is official yet. Both fighters are said to want the fight, and are agreeable for possibly doing it at UFC 187 during Memorial Day weekend.

The undefeated Dagestani fighter Nurmagomedov (22-0) has staked his claim as the No. 1 contender in the division, particularly with a glowing 6-0 record in the UFC. But after suffering a knee injury last July, the last man he defeated — Rafael dos Anjos — is scheduled to face champion Anthony Pettis at UFC 185 on March 14 in Dallas, Texas. Rather than wait for that fight to play out, Nurmagomedov said he’d rather stay active.

If the fight materializes, a battle with Cerrone would be tidy for settling the No. 1 contender’s spot.  “Cowboy” has won seven straight bouts going back to a loss to dos Anjos back in 2013. Cerrone is already 2-0 in 2015, with victories over Myles Jury and Benson Henderson just two weeks apart.

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Donald Cerrone Says Khabib Nurmagomedov Is Next After UFC Win in Boston

Donald Cerrone defeated Benson Henderson via unanimous decision at UFC Fight Night “McGregor vs. Siver,” winning for the first time in their three meetings.
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Donald Cerrone Says Khabib Nurmagomedov Is Next After UFC Win in Boston

Donald Cerrone defeated Benson Henderson via unanimous decision at UFC Fight Night “McGregor vs. Siver,” winning for the first time in their three meetings.
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Donald Cerrone wants a break, then ‘hopefully’ Khabib Nurmagomedov

Donald Cerrone won his seventh fight in 14 months on Sunday night at UFC Fight Night 59, scraping out a contentious decision over Benson Henderson to extend the remarkable hot streak that has made “Cowboy” one of the most coveted contenders in the UFC’s lightweight division. And true to form, as soon as the good vibes settled, Cerrone was already looking ahead to what’s next.

“Talking with Dana (White) and Lorenzo (Fertitta), I think Khabib is going to be what’s next, for sure,” Cerrone said at UFC Fight Night 59′s post-fight press conference. “I’m going to take some time off and just get ready and stay ready, and hopefully Khabib will be ready.”

The Khabib in question is none other than Khabib Nurmagomedov, the undefeated sambo savant who hails from that far-off killers’ den of Dagestan and has fashioned the 155-pound division into his own person plaything since making his 2012 UFC debut.

With a flawless 6-0 record inside the Octagon, and lopsided victories on his ledger over Abel Trujillo, Pat Healy, and upcoming title challenger Rafael dos Anjos, Nurmagomedov finds himself perched at No. 2 on the UFC’s media-generated lightweight rankings, just ahead of Cerrone despite being sidelined since April 2014 because of a torn ACL.

The two were scheduled to fight at UFC 178, albeit briefly. Nurmagomedov’s injury ended up derailing that match-up, but now Nurmagomedov is approaching the end of his recovery, targeting a return sometime in the upcoming spring months. That timetable suits Cerrone just fine, too, because after putting himself through one of the most grueling fight schedules in recent memory, Cerrone is more than happy to take a bit of a vacation.

“Seven in a row, man. I feel good. It’s time to take some time off,” Cerrone said. “Talk with Dana and Lorenzo after this, go see the Super Bowl and go to Daytona 500 and just kind of hang out.”

“Whatever’s next I’m willing to take it and fight.”

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Norman Parke wants Khabib Nurmagomedov after Gleison Tibau on Sunday night

BOSTON — Norman Parke talks about his UFN 59 fight against Gleison Tibau, how he feels being on the same card as his fellow Irishman, his relationship with Conor McGregor, fighting Khabib Nurmagomedov after this fight, and more.

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Anthony Pettis on Khabib Nurmagomedov: ‘I didn’t know who he was, honestly’

Anthony Pettis‘ first encounter with Khabib Nurmagomedov came last year on Twitter. Since then, Nurmagomedov has been relentless, both in his pursuit of the UFC lightweight title and his trash talk of Pettis, the champion. But back then, Pettis admits he wasn’t exactly sure what to make of the correspondence.

“A little bit it got under my skin, so I got back at him,” Pettis told MMA Fighting on Monday at a media lunch in New York. “I didn’t know who he was honestly when I initially tweeted him back. I was like, who is this guy? Then I saw him fight Pat Healy. I wasn’t impressed — just another tough wrestler guy. Then he beat [Rafael] dos Anjos. Ehh.”

Pettis (17-2), who defends his title against Gilbert Melendez in the co-main event of UFC 181 on Saturday in Las Vegas, isn’t sure if Nurmagomedov has done quite enough to earn the next title shot. “Showtime” doesn’t think victories of dos Anjos and Healy are enough to warrant a No. 1 contender position.

“Both of them guys haven’t proven enough to be in title contention,” Pettis said. “Maybe if he fights someone like [Donald] Cerrone or whoever the next guy is. Maybe Myles Jury.”

Nurmagomedov (22-0) has been extremely vocal about Pettis recently, especially since he has improved his English. The dominant Dagestani wrestler has called Pettis a “paper champion” and said a fight against him would be “easy money.”

“I think he [doesn't] want this fight,” Nurmagomedov said of Pettis on The MMA Hour in September. “I am no good for his style. My pressure, my wrestling, my top control, it’s no good for him. He said he wants to fight Nate Diaz. Nate Diaz lose many times in the UFC, and I am undefeated. I am the next contender. But he’s not saying ‘Khabib is good, Khabib is undefeated, Khabib is 6-0,’ he’s not saying nothing. I think he [doesn't] want this fight.”

Pettis has not ruled out a fight with Nurmagomedov and concedes that the No. 1 contender if he beats Melendez on Saturday is up in the air. And maybe it could be Nurmagomedov, who is currently recovering from knee surgery.

“I think he’s right there,” Pettis said “It’s kind of weird after this fight. I didn’t look after this fight yet, but the question was asked. Who knows? If he didn’t have a knee injury, maybe he would be next if the timing matches up.”

Pettis himself has not even defended the belt yet. He beat Benson Henderson to win the lightweight title at UFC 164 in August 2013 and has not fought since. “Showtime” had knee surgery late last year and then spent the summer filming The Ultimate Fighter 20 opposite Melendez. But he relishes the other contenders in the loaded lightweight division gunning for him.

“I love it,” Pettis said. “Everybody has to look at me and want what I have around my waist. I only have to fight them one at a time.”

As for Nurmagomedov? Pettis said he just needs to wait his turn, whenever that might come up.

“He’s an up-and-comer,” Pettis said. “He’s pleading his case, he wants a title shot. He’s undefeated. Title shots are hard to get. I know from experience.”

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The MMA Beat on state of the heavyweights, Khabib Nurmagomedov, UFC 178, more

On this week’s episode of “The MMA Beat,” the panel will discuss the state of the UFC’s heavyweight division, the upcoming UFC card in Japan, Khabib Nurmagomedov’s contender status, the promotion for UFC 178, next weekend’s pay-per-view lineup, and more.

Watch “The MMA Beat” live today at 1 p.m. ET / 10 a.m. PT / 6 p.m. GMT.

Subscribe to the show on iTunes: audio | video. Stream it on Stitcher here.

Music courtesy of APM Music.

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Khabib Nurmagomedov on Anthony Pettis: ‘He doesn’t want this fight because I’m no good for his style’

While the UFC’s 155-pound division is bottlenecked until Anthony Pettis defends the belt against Gilbert Melendez in December, the war of “next” in that class has had plenty of plot twists.

Reigning lightweight champ Eddie Alvarez will make Octagon debut at UFC 178 on Sept. 27 against Donald Cerrone, who has won four in a row (all finishes). The winner of that fight will have to be in consideration to take on the winner of Melendez-Pettis. Then there’s Rafael dos Anjos, who just became the first man other than Pettis to finish Benson Henderson. He’s right there in contention, having gone 7-1 since 2012.

If anybody has a trump card to use against all of those names, it might be Dagestani fighter Khabib Nurmagomedov, who was booked into a fight with Cerrone for about 20 minutes before injuring his knee and withdrawing. Nurmagomedov is undefeated, and to this point through six fights in the UFC, unchallenged. He was the last man to defeat Dos Anjos.

That’s why Nurmagomedov feels he’s next in line for a title shot. “The Eagle” appeared on Monday’s edition of The MMA Hour and made his case.

“I think I am the No. 1 contender, after Gilbert Melendez,” Nurmagomedov told Ariel Helwani. “I know Melendez is a very good guy, he was the Strikeforce champion, the UFC gave him a shot. After he beat Diego Sanchez, and Diego Sanchez is not top 15…I think it’s no good, I think I’m the No. 1 contender. I am undefeated, 6-0 [in the UFC], 22-0 [overall]. I want after the next fight to have a title shot.”

It turns out the injury to the knee was an ACL. Nurmagomedov explained how it went down, right after the UFC finally found him a willing opponent.


“The UFC called me and said, you need to fight Donald Cerrone, and I said I’m very happy,” he said. “I go training and after ten minutes [or so] I have the injury. And after that I called my manager and said, my knee’s very bad. And I said I very much wanted the fight with Cowboy Cerrone, but I’m injured.”

Nurmagomedov said that he might have tweaked his knee in the dos Anjos fight, but it was in training that he truly injured it. He flew to Moscow from Dagestan to have the knee looked at, and the doctor revealed to him it was an ACL. He underwent surgery to repair it, and is currently in the process of recovering.

He said when his manager, Ali Abdel-Aziz, informed UFC CEO Lorenzo Fertitta that he was in need of surgery, that the UFC picked up his medical costs, something he was very thankful for.

“Everyday I’m working my knee, I want to make it stronger,” he said. “My first problem now is my knee. After that, I go and get my belt.”

Nurmagomedov’s English has improved leaps and bounds over the last year (which he jokingly says he paid Daniel Cormier $ 500 an hour to learn), and he’s using it to communicate his case for a title bid. And the current titleholder, Pettis, is in his crosshairs.

Though he doesn’t think that Pettis wants to fight him. And he also feels a little bit disrespected by the current lightweight champion, which he made clear on social media when he bemoaned the fact that Pettis couldn’t pronounce his name,

“I think he [doesn’t] want this fight,” he said of Pettis. “I am no good for his style. My pressure, my wrestling, my top control, it’s no good for him. He said he wants to fight Nate Diaz. Nate Diaz lose many times in the UFC, and I am undefeated. I am the next contender. But he’s not saying ‘Khabib is good, Khabib is undefeated, Khabib is 6-0,’ he’s not saying nothing. I think he [doesn’t] want this fight.”

When you’re undefeated, it’s hard to find criticism – but if there’s been any towards the wrestler Nurmagomedov, it’s that he grinds out victories and doesn’t finish opponents (like Cerrone).

Asked if that might be a hindrance to him getting the next title shot, Nurmagomedov invited people to revisit his list of casualties.

“When I’m fighting Dos Anjos, he’s a very good guy — finishing him is very hard, everybody knows,” he said. “Gleison Tibau, he’s a beast. I finished Thiago Tavares — Thiago Tavares is very good, too. Abel Trujillo, he’s a beast. Before his fight with me, he killed one guy. After his fight with me, he killed three guys. He’s a very good guy, Abel Trujillo is. [Nobody] has ever finished Pat Healy in the UFC. I think my opponents are very good and strong guys. I know I [haven’t] finished, but I’ve smashed everybody in striking, ground and pound, wrestling, everywhere.”

Nurmagomedov, who is no longer with the Red Fury Fight Team, said that he thinks that Cerrone will prevail against Alvarez at UFC 178, but that the historical match-up comparison falls to his side. Cerrone lost to dos Anjos and Henderson, dos Anjos beat Henderson, and he beat dos Anjos. He says the Brazilian dos Anjos is the gauge in the scenario.

As for having a preference as to who wins between Melendez and Pettis at UFC 181 on Dec. 6, he said he doesn’t really have any druthers. He just has promises.

“For me it’s no problem,” he said. “If Pettis wins, I think for me it’s very good. I want a fight with him, but Gilbert Melendez is very good guy too, very good fighter. Maybe he wins, too. I think 50/50. But I will fight versus Anthony Pettis.

“I think he knows my name, but I think he [doesn’t] respect for me, and next year he’ll know my name, 100 percent.”

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Khabib Nurmagomedov on Anthony Pettis: ‘He doesn’t want this fight because I’m no good for his style’

While the UFC’s 155-pound division is bottlenecked until Anthony Pettis defends the belt against Gilbert Melendez in December, the war of “next” in that class has had plenty of plot twists.

Reigning lightweight champ Eddie Alvarez will make Octagon debut at UFC 178 on Sept. 27 against Donald Cerrone, who has won four in a row (all finishes). The winner of that fight will have to be in consideration to take on the winner of Melendez-Pettis. Then there’s Rafael dos Anjos, who just became the first man other than Pettis to finish Benson Henderson. He’s right there in contention, having gone 7-1 since 2012.

If anybody has a trump card to use against all of those names, it might be Dagestani fighter Khabib Nurmagomedov, who was booked into a fight with Cerrone for about 20 minutes before injuring his knee and withdrawing. Nurmagomedov is undefeated, and to this point through six fights in the UFC, unchallenged. He was the last man to defeat Dos Anjos.

That’s why Nurmagomedov feels he’s next in line for a title shot. “The Eagle” appeared on Monday’s edition of The MMA Hour and made his case.

“I think I am the No. 1 contender, after Gilbert Melendez,” Nurmagomedov told Ariel Helwani. “I know Melendez is a very good guy, he was the Strikeforce champion, the UFC gave him a shot. After he beat Diego Sanchez, and Diego Sanchez is not top 15…I think it’s no good, I think I’m the No. 1 contender. I am undefeated, 6-0 [in the UFC], 22-0 [overall]. I want after the next fight to have a title shot.”

It turns out the injury to the knee was an ACL. Nurmagomedov explained how it went down, right after the UFC finally found him a willing opponent.

“The UFC called me and said, you need to fight Donald Cerrone, and I said I’m very happy,” he said. “I go training and after ten minutes [or so] I have the injury. And after that I called my manager and said, my knee’s very bad. And I said I very much wanted the fight with Cowboy Cerrone, but I’m injured.”

Nurmagomedov said that he might have tweaked his knee in the dos Anjos fight, but it was in training that he truly injured it. He flew to Moscow from Dagestan to have the knee looked at, and the doctor revealed to him it was an ACL. He underwent surgery to repair it, and is currently in the process of recovering.

He said when his manager, Ali Abdel-Aziz, informed UFC CEO Lorenzo Fertitta that he was in need of surgery, that the UFC picked up his medical costs, something he was very thankful for.

“Everyday I’m working my knee, I want to make it stronger,” he said. “My first problem now is my knee. After that, I go and get my belt.”

Nurmagomedov’s English has improved leaps and bounds over the last year (which he jokingly says he paid Daniel Cormier $ 500 an hour to learn), and he’s using it to communicate his case for a title bid. And the current titleholder, Pettis, is in his crosshairs.

Though he doesn’t think that Pettis wants to fight him. And he also feels a little bit disrespected by the current lightweight champion, which he made clear on social media when he bemoaned the fact that Pettis couldn’t pronounce his name,

“I think he [doesn’t] want this fight,” he said of Pettis. “I am no good for his style. My pressure, my wrestling, my top control, it’s no good for him. He said he wants to fight Nate Diaz. Nate Diaz lose many times in the UFC, and I am undefeated. I am the next contender. But he’s not saying ‘Khabib is good, Khabib is undefeated, Khabib is 6-0,’ he’s not saying nothing. I think he [doesn’t] want this fight.”

When you’re undefeated, it’s hard to find criticism – but if there’s been any towards the wrestler Nurmagomedov, it’s that he grinds out victories and doesn’t finish opponents (like Cerrone).

Asked if that might be a hindrance to him getting the next title shot, Nurmagomedov invited people to revisit his list of casualties.

“When I’m fighting Dos Anjos, he’s a very good guy — finishing him is very hard, everybody knows,” he said. “Gleison Tibau, he’s a beast. I finished Thiago Tavares — Thiago Tavares is very good, too. Abel Trujillo, he’s a beast. Before his fight with me, he killed one guy. After his fight with me, he killed three guys. He’s a very good guy, Abel Trujillo is. [Nobody] has ever finished Pat Healy in the UFC. I think my opponents are very good and strong guys. I know I [haven’t] finished, but I’ve smashed everybody in striking, ground and pound, wrestling, everywhere.”

Nurmagomedov, who is no longer with the Red Fury Fight Team, said that he thinks that Cerrone will prevail against Alvarez at UFC 178, but that the historical match-up comparison falls to his side. Cerrone lost to dos Anjos and Henderson, dos Anjos beat Henderson, and he beat dos Anjos. He says the Brazilian dos Anjos is the gauge in the scenario.

As for having a preference as to who wins between Melendez and Pettis at UFC 181 on Dec. 6, he said he doesn’t really have any druthers. He just has promises.

“For me it’s no problem,” he said. “If Pettis wins, I think for me it’s very good. I want a fight with him, but Gilbert Melendez is very good guy too, very good fighter. Maybe he wins, too. I think 50/50. But I will fight versus Anthony Pettis.

“I think he knows my name, but I think he [doesn’t] respect for me, and next year he’ll know my name, 100 percent.”

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UFC’s Khabib Nurmagomedov Sidelined For Extended Future

UFC lightweight contender Khabib Nurmagomedov will likely spend the rest of 2014 on the sidelines following a torn meniscus in his right leg. Nurmagomedov’s manager, Mike Constantino, confirmed with MMAjunkie.com that the unbeaten fighter could be back quicker if his rehab progresses quicker than expected. Prior to suffering in the injury, UFC officials have booked […]

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