Is Khabib Nurmagomedov coming back to the UFC? Since Charles Oliveira’s rapid rise to the top of the lightweight division, fans have debated who may win a fight between them. With Oliveira running through all the top-ranked fighters in the division, it has shot up the interest in the contest significantly.
A lot of chatter has recently circulated around Khabib. Even Nurmagomedov himself commented on returning to the UFC. Khabib recently spoke on coaching a season of The Ultimate Fighter alongside Tony Ferguson. But in a recent interview with TMZ, Nurmagomedov expressed that he has no interest in fighting Oliveira. Instead, he named Islam Makhachev as the most deserving contender for the 155lbs championship.
The Eagle seems annoyed at the repeated questions regarding his comeback. But he once again definitively stated he will not fight Charles Oliveira for the belt. Khabib explained that he had his time in the sun. But now the fans should move on and get behind the new generation of the fighters who are coming through.
“People talk about me, but I’m finished. 10 years I was in UFC, I dominate everybody, I win title, I defend them 3 time. Okay, I’m finished. Leave me alone. You guys need opponent for Charles Oliveira? Everybody know his name, his name is Islam Makhachev.”
Khabib Nurmagomedov wants Islam Makhachev to get the next title shot
Makhachev recently made the case for fighting Charles Oliveira for the vacant UFC Lightweight Championship. But UFC president Dana White stated after UFC 274 that Beneil Dariush is the most likely next opponent for Islam. But Khabib vehemently disagreed with it and listed the reason why Islam is the rightful contender. He said,
” My reaction is, I feel really bad for Islam Makhachev. You know why? This guy, he don’t more than seven years. He have 10 fight win streak in lightweight division, and not only win streak, he dominate. (In) last 11 months, he finished 4 opponents. UFC have to pay attention of this guy.”
Despite support from MMA personalities such as Joe Rogan and his cousin Khabib, Islam is not the favourite to fight Charles for the lightweight strap. Oliveira himself has called out big-name superstars like Nate Diaz and Conor McGregor. Michael Chandler has also thrown in his name after his big win against Tony Ferguson at UFC 274. Dustin Poirier also wants another crack at Oliveira. Hence, Makhachev’s chances of getting a title shot do not seem very high at the moment.
But Islam’s path towards the belt seems to have only one more stop. As Khabib has mentioned previously, Islam has won 10 fights in a row. But the only thing missing from his resume is a win over a top-ranked fighter in the division. Hence, a victory over Beneil Dariush will definitely force the UFC’s hand in giving him the opportunity to fight for the belt next.