Khabib Nurmagomedov insists if he doesn’t get the next title shot at 155lb, UFC 205 in New York City may very well be the last time we see him in the Octagon.
Eddie Alvarez is due to defend the UFC lightweight championship belt against Conor McGregor at Madison Square Garden first after Nurmagomedov was denied the opportunity due to a reluctance on Alvarez’s part to sign a bout agreement wight the official number one contender.
The undefeated Russian, who now meets Michael Johnson on the highly-anticipated Big Apple undercard, says it’s due to Alvarez’s fear of losing his status as champion. Like the champ, he believes McGregor is the easy option.
“Eddie understands who is who,” Nurmagomedov told Luke Thomas. “Eddie and all his coaches know, ‘This [is a] very tough fight for me.’ He even said ‘I want an easy fight’. No, you’re champion. You fight number one ranked and number one ranked is not easy. For me, it’s a crazy situation.
“But it’s ok, life is going and I’m going to keep going and I’m going to finish Michael Johnson at UFC 205 and after this I’m going to fight for the title. I’d rather take this fight because he signed with the UFC bulls**t contract because he knows if he takes fight with me, his belt is going bye bye.”
Provided Nurmagomedov is able to get his hand raised in victory over Johnson inside Madison Square Garden he expects to be granted an immediate title shot – or else he’s following Jose Aldo’s line with the threat to quit fighting for the promotion.
“If I don’t fight after this fight for the title, I never fight in the UFC, no more,” Nurmagomedov added. “I deserve this. If UFC doesn’t give me title after fight, I don’t care about unanimous decision, split decision, first round KO. If I don’t fight, I’m gonna show how I have power in Russia.
“The UFC think Conor have power? I have power too. This is not all about pay-per-view. I have power too. I’m gonna show this power. A young and very hungry ‘Eagle’ is going to change these rules.”