Tag Archive for Nurmagomedov

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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Khabib Nurmagomedov headed for surgery after tearing meniscus

When Dana White announced last week that Khabib Nurmagomedov had suffered a knee injury, which forced him out of a planned fight against Donald Cerrone in September, he wasn’t sure just how serious the injury was. In other words, there still appeared to be some hope that the fight could made this year.

However, Mike Constantino, one of Nurmagomedov’s managers, informed MMAFighting.com that the lightweight contender received word on Tuesday that he had suffered a torn meniscus in his right knee, which will require surgery. Right now, Nurmagomedov is expected to be out of action until January.

White said on Friday that both Cerrone and Nurmagomedov agreed to the fight, and then less than 30 minutes later disaster struck.

“That fight is made — it’s done,” White said. “Twenty minutes later, [Nurmagomedov] went into the gym and blew his knee out. Twenty. F—ing. Minutes. Later.

“It was done. The bout agreements, done. Email went out last night from [UFC matchmaker] Joe Silva saying that this fight is done, both contracts were signed…boom, 20 minutes later, you’re not going to f—ing believe this, the fight is off.”

The 22-0 Dagestani fighter is 6-0 in the UFC, most recently defeating Rafael dos Anjos via unanimous decision in April. No word just yet on who Cerrone will be fighting next instead.

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Stop The Presses: Nurmagomedov Suffers Injury, Cerrone Fight Nixed

Moments after the UFC had put pen to paper and inked Donald Cerrone vs. Khabib Nurmagomedov, the bout was scrapped. During his scrum in Ireland, UFC president Dana White confirmed that the promotion had signed Cerrone-Nurmagomedov for a future card in a battle of lightweight contenders. “Twenty minutes (after signing the fight, Nurmagomedov) went into […]

The post Stop The Presses: Nurmagomedov Suffers Injury, Cerrone Fight Nixed appeared first on Caged Insider.

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Nurmagomedov Suffers Knee Injury, Proposed Fight with Cerrone at UFC 178 Canceled

Donald Cerrone-Khabib Nurmagomedov was a done deal for UFC 178. Then the dreaded injury bug reared its ugly head once again.
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Dana White: Nurmagomedov ‘blew out his knee 20 minutes after’ bout agreement with Cerrone signed

In a little bait-and-switch, it turns out that earlier reports that Donald Cerrone would fight Khabib Nurmagomedov at UFC 178 in September were true. But the lightweights won’t be fighting.

At the UFC Fight Night 46 pre-fight media scrum in Dublin, Ireland, UFC president Dana White said that the fight was agreed upon and official, but that disaster struck less than half-an-hour after the paperwork was filed.

“That is supposed to be true, that fight is made — it’s done,” White said. “Twenty minutes later, [Nurmagomedov] went into the gym and blew his knee out. Twenty. F—ing. Minutes. Later.

“It was done. The bout agreements, done. Email went out last night from [UFC matchmaker] Joe Silva saying that this fight is done, both contracts were signed…boom, 20 minutes later, you’re not going to f—ing believe this, the fight is off.”

Cerrone just fought on Wednesday night in Atlantic City at UFC Fight Night 45 against Jim Miller, a fight he won via TKO in the second round (headkick). As always, Cerrone said he was willing to fight again as soon as possible, and the UFC wasted no time in booking him against the Dagestani fighter, Nurmagomedov, who was lobbying for the fight on Twitter.

White said he only knew it was the knee that Nurmagomedov hurt, but didn’t know to what extent.

The bout, which was scheduled for UFC 178 in Las Vegas on September 27, was expected to hold some pretty interesting title stakes. Now that it’s off, the question became whether or not Cerrone would still fight on the card, or if he’d be moved.

“He’s out, [and we’ll] make another fight,” White said. “We had the fight done.”

One interesting option for Cerrone that was brought up was in-limbo Nate Diaz, who was tweeting out insults towards Cerrone before Wednesday’s fight, essentially referring to him as a UFC yes man. Diaz and Cerrone fought in late 2011 at UFC 141, a memorable battle that Diaz ultimately won via decision. Cerrone said he would be in favor of that fight after his victory over Miller, but White laughed at the idea.

“Come on you guys, ridiculous,” White said. “Call Nate, see what he says.”

Nurmagomedov is 6-0 in the UFC, and 22-0 overall. He was coming off a victory over Rafael dos Anjos at UFC on FOX 11 in April. A bout between him and Cerrone, who has now won four fights in a row, was to be a collision of momentums. As for whom Cerrone will face next, White said he didn’t know yet.

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Barnburner Alert: Donald Cerrone vs. Khabib Nurmagomedov Reportedly Booked for UFC 178 in September

(Video related. / Self-props: The CP tumblr)

According to a tweet by semi-retired MMA journalist Mike Chiappetta, lightweight gunslinger Donald Cerrone and Dagestani bear-wrestler Khabib Nurmagomedov will face off at UFC 178: Jones vs. Gustafsson 2, September 27th in Las Vegas.

Not only is it a fantastic matchup, it could potentially produce a title contender, as both men are currently hovering around the top of the 155-pound division. Cerrone’s knockout of Jim Miller on Wednesday was his fourth-straight victory, with all wins by stoppage (and all wins earning him a performance bonus).

Nurmagomedov is a perfect 6-0 in the UFC, and 22-0 (!) overall. He most recently out-pointed Rafael Dos Anjos in April, then decided to take the summer off due to Ramadan. After Cerrone’s win over Miller, Nurmy tweeted out the following:

While the fight will certainly be scheduled for three rounds, that’s more than enough time for Cowboy and the Eagle to put on an all-out war. Who ya got?

The Jones/Gustafsson 2 card will also feature Dominick Cruz’s return against Takeya Mizugaki, Cat Zingano’s return against Amanda Nunes, and Tim Kennedy defending our liberties against Yoel Romero. Daddy likey.


Nurmagomedov? Diaz? Donald ‘Cowboy’ Cerrone says giddy-up to all comers

ATLANTIC CITY – There was a moment in time when UFC president Dana White said that nobody wanted to fight Khabib Nurmagomedov. That was before Nurmy was booked into a fight with Benson Henderson (or at least so Henderson thought; turns out it was Rustam Khabilov) and Rafael dos Anjos showed up as just such a particular nobody in April to face the Dagestan bear wrestler. 

And it was certainly before White checked with Donald Cerrone, the man who keeps reminding us that he’ll fight anybody, anytime — whether it’s “Nate, Khabib, anybody” — and actually meaning it.

At this point, it’s hard not to like “Cowboy” Cerrone, the Budweiser-guzzling fun dude who is always fighting some colossus or other between some adventure or other. The adventures he hitches to his fights are always something like rock climbing, or wakeboarding on Lake Powell, or riding mechanical bulls, repelling, RVing in Clear Creek, passing the ladle around the campfire with Leonard Garcia or getting rowdy on his “Fight Ranch” outside Albuquerque with the tumbleweeds. Sometimes his adventure involves the taxman, who is one of his supreme motivators. Sometimes women.

This time, as Cerrone visited New Jersey, he was en-route to hanging with his grandmother in Niagara Falls before catching his friend, NASCAR driver Kevin Harvick, out in Indy. Yippee ki-yay!

And as always, there was a fight at the center of his action weekend.

Jim Miller, who’s nobody’s slouch, was the “anybody” this time through, and the only variation was that it was midweek. Cerrone very gamely took a few lumps from the Jersey native Miller in the first round before figuring out the timing, distance, cadence and rhythm of his UFC Fight Night 45 main event and teeing off on his head. He downed Miller with a well-timed head kick mid-second round, after he’d tenderized him with a crippling body kick moments earlier. Miller never recovered from the first, and the second had to come back to him slowly.

Between the time Dan Miragliotta called Cerrone off and the time he took the dais for the post-fight press conference, there were cold, rewarding Budweisers and another $ 50,000 in bonus money. This has become its own norm. After he submitted Edson Barboza in April, Cowboy was double-fisting the White Cans on the podium; he had one that he was drinking, the other that he made into a spitter. He had to pee mid-conference that night in Orlando. Dana White shook his head, and said, “go pee.”

At the Revel, Cerrone had just one bottle with him afterwards, but he was audibly enjoying it. And boy did he get antsy when he finished its contents…Cowboy was ready to go “drink some beer,” and be done with the silly media inquisition. This is a guy who says he wants to be the kind of fighter that people pull over to the bar to watch fight on TV. This is a guy who embodies everything that the UFC has ever been after in terms of willingness, aggression, excitement, technique and explosiveness, all the sellable, workable tenants.

“I will literally fight anybody,” he said. “The UFC tells me the date and time to be there and I’ll gladly be there. Nate [Diaz], Khabib [Nurmagomedov], anybody, I wanna fight. So the sooner the better and looking forward to getting back out there.”

At this point, the question is: Why is Cerrone not America’s favorite fighter? It’s certainly not because of the bashful, sh*t-eating grin he hides under his cowboy hat each time he’s told he won another $ 50,000 in end of the night bonus money. It’s not because he can’t win. After Miller, he’s now won four in a row…and he’s finished all four guys. It’s not because he makes himself scarce. He’s fought 17 times since 2010. That kind of action density is usually found at the beginning of fighter’s careers, when they are setting up cans.

But look at those 17 fights, going back to the WEC…Benson Henderson, Dos Anjos, Anthony Pettis, Miller, Nate Diaz, Melvin Guillard, Barboza, on and on. He’s fighting the very best of the best in his division, casually, like he’s dealing in some good-timing rowdiness at the honky-tonk, usually on his way to Florida to wakeboard with Rusty Malinoski or to part-take in Cheyenne Days. He’d be the first to tell you he’s a crazy bastard, and by now we should believe him. But damn if it’s not fun to live through him vicariously a little bit. 

Yet he keeps winning, and once again Cerrone has pitched his silhouette on the horizon against that blazing, warbling sun. (Or…you know, positioned himself near a title shot). He just keeps beating guys. Just keeps collecting bonuses.

The cool thing with Cerrone is, he just wants to keep fighting, regardless if it’s for a belt or not. Nate Diaz implicating him in hashtags (#UFCdick) ain’t no snake in the Cowboy’s boot; he’ll fight Diaz tomorrow, and he’ll do it in Stockton. And he’ll fight Nurmagomedov, too, if that’s what the UFC wants.

He’ll fight anybody, anytime, and he’ll leave a trail of empty Budweiser’s just to remind us he was there. And if there’s one thing that Cowboy makes you think, it’s this: Fighting shouldn’t be as easy as he makes it seem.

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What title shot? Khabib Nurmagomedov anticipating winner of Donald Cerrone vs. Jim Miller

How many fights does an “Eagle” have to win inside the Octagon before he gets a title shot? One more, apparently.

Khabib Nurmagomedov has racked up six straight wins inside the Octagon against some rather stiff competition since making his Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) debut back in 2012.

Couple those six victories with the 16 others he won in his undefeated (22-0, 6-0 UFC) professional mixed martial arts (MMA) career, and the Russian-born fighter has made a pretty good case for a title shot.

At least in the eyes of his head trainer at American Kickboxing Academy (AKA), Javier Mendez.

But according to “The Eagle,” a title shot is not in his immediate future, as he expects to be paired off against the winner of the Donald Cerrone vs. Jim Miller lightweight scrap, which goes down on July 16, 2014 at UFC Fight Night 45 from Atlantic City, New Jersey.

His words to Ru Boxing (via Bloody Elbow):

“There are so many questions about my next fight but I have no any answer yet. I’m just waiting phone call from the UFC. But I think most likely my next fight will be against the winner of Cerrone – Miller bout.”

Currently ranked at No. 4 and given his past track record, you would think Khabib — or at least his management team — would lobby a bit harder for a championship match.

He’s done enough chirping on Twitter toward current UFC lightweight champion Anthony Pettis, but has failed to voice his opinion to UFC matchmakers… at least in a public forum.

With Josh Thomson (ranked No. 3) currently booked to face Michael Johnson at UFC on FOX 12 later this month and Ben Henderson (ranked No. 2) pegged to face Rafael dos Anjos at UFC Fight Night 49 in August, the path looks pretty clear for Khabib and Co. to argue their way into a championship match.

Then again, since Pettis is tentatively scheduled to defend the 155-pound title against Gilbert Melendez at UFC 182 on Jan. 3, 2015, Khabib would be looking at a 15-month layoff if he decided to wait it out.

That’s a pretty long time to go without a paycheck.

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Manager: Khabib Nurmagomedov wants winner of Donald Cerrone vs. Jim Miller

Fresh off a dominant victory over his first top-10 ranked foe, Khabib Nurmagomedov is already eyeing his next victim.

According to Nurmagomedov’s manager, Sam Kardan, the Dagestani born lightweight favors a match-up against the winner of Donald Cerrone vs. Jim Miller — a bout which is scheduled to headline UFC Fight Night 45 on July 16, 2014.

Nurmagomedov (22-0), the No. 4 ranked UFC lightweight, was actually approached to fight Cerrone at the same July event, however he had to turn the offer down due to conflicts with the Muslim holiday Ramadan.

Ramadan requires its practitioners to fast from sunrise to sunset for an entire month, a tradition which would significantly impact Nurmagomedov’s nutrition and training.

Affectionately known as “The Eagle,” Nurmagomedov holds a perfect 6-0 record since debuting in the UFC in early-2012. In his most recent performance, the 25-year-old Sambo savant outclassed Rafael dos Anjos en route to a lopsided unanimous decision win.

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