Khabib Nurmagomedov got off to a slow start against Michael Johnson at UFC 205, but the top-ranked lightweight contender soon established himself as the dominant fighter.
Nurmagomedov absolutely schooled Johnson in the grappling exchanges and admits that he told his opponent to ‘give up’ midway through the bout.
“I had a little talk with him; is that not good?” Nurmagomedov said, per Brent Brookhouse and John Morgan of MMA Junkie. “I told him, ‘Hey, I have to fight for the title. You know this.’ I told him, ‘I don’t want to smash your face, and I already beat you. You have to give up.’ But he kept fighting.”
Nurmagomedov looked to be in a completely different league to Johnson, similar to how Conor McGregor looked in a class of his own against Eddie Alvarez, and the Dagestani powerhouse eventually submitted him in the third round.
Nurmagomedov extended his resume to a perfect 24-0, and 28-year-old believes he should be next in line for a title shot. ‘The Eagle’ reportedly screamed at UFC president Dana White to give him the title shot.
“I talked with (Dana White) and said, ‘Hey, don’t send me no more your fake contract. I need real contract!’ He talked about ‘yes, you have to finish this fight.’ I said, ‘you know that I only deserve this. After this fight I want real contract.’ He said, ‘okay, finish this’.”
For Johnson, who is still listed as the No. 6 ranked lightweight in the world, it’s a devastating blow. ‘The Menace’ was forging his own path to the top but suffered a serious setback at UFC 205.
Nurmagomedov is likely to face No. 1 lightweight contender Tony Ferguson to establish the next title challenger. ‘The Notorious’ captured the 155 pound belt in the main event and made history by becoming the first simultaneous two-division champion in UFC history.
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