MENU
#UFC Fight Night 118 #Darren Till #Donald Cerrone #Artem Lobov #Andre Fili #Bellator 185 #MMA Rocks #KSW 40 #Karolina Kowalkiewicz #Gegard Mousasi #Alexander Shlemenko #Norman Parke #Conor McGregor #Kristina Williams #Jan Blachowicz


khabib-nurmagomedov-6.jpgKhabib Nurmagomedov is a man who seems to know what he wants.

He wants someone with initials. B.J. or T.J. – either one will do.

Nurmagomedov (20-0 MMA, 4-0 UFC) has mentioned his interest in a fight with former lightweight and welterweight champion B.J. Penn (16-9-2 MMA, 12-8-2 UFC) in the past, asking UFC President Dana White on Twitter in June for a chance to meet the man he’s been a fan of since he was a kid.

The Russian “Eagle” reiterated that hope in an interview with Thomas Gerbasi of UFC.com – and also called out recent No. 1 lightweight contender T.J. Grant (21-5 MMA, 8-3 UFC) at the same time.

“I have asked for a fight with B.J. Penn, but I have not received a response,” Nurmagomedov said. “Perhaps they have different plans for him. I wanted to fight someone I watched on TV when I was younger. He is a legend. If B.J. is not available, I would love to fight Grant. If he feels that he is the next title contender, let him prove it by beating me at UFC 165 in his homeland.”

Nurmagomedov is unbeaten in his pro career and in his first 18 months in the UFC has gone 4-0 with a pair of stoppages.

In his most recent outing, he set a UFC record by taking Abel Trujillo down 21 times in a unanimous decision win at UFC 160 in May. But for that fight, he came in heavy and had to fight at a catchweight, forfeiting a portion of his purse to Trujillo.

Asking for Penn or Grant could be wishful thinking for the 24-year-old, who has split training time between his native Russia, AMA Fight Club in New Jersey and American Kickboxing Academy in San Jose, Calif.

Penn hasn’t formally announced his retirement, but he hasn’t fought since a unanimous decision loss to Rory MacDonald in December. That was his first fight in more than a year after being similarly dominated by Nick Diaz at UFC 137.

Penn is approaching three years since his most recent win, a 21-second knockout of Matt Hughes at UFC 123. And White hasn’t been shy in saying he is in favor of the 34-year-old former champ calling it a career.

Grant is coming off an upset of Gray Maynard at UFC 160 that earned him a “Knockout of the Night” bonus – but more importantly, a title shot against lightweight champion Benson Henderson.

At 5-0 since dropping to 155 pounds from welterweight, Grant’s run included three stoppages and a pair of bonus awards. But just this past week, Grant had to pull out of his title shot at UFC 164 thanks to a concussion. Instead, Anthony Pettis meets Henderson for the first time since taking his WEC title at that promotion’s final event.

Thanks to the concussion, Grant may be slow to return – and if he already knew he wouldn’t be ready for UFC 164 in Milwaukee on Aug. 31, what are the odds he’d be ready to go three weeks later at UFC 165 on Sept. 21 – even if it is in his native Canada?

Grant has acknowledged that when he’s ready to return, he might have to take another fight to re-prove he’s the No. 1 lightweight contender, rather than sitting back to wait for the Henderson-Pettis winner. But whether or not he’d be willing to step up on Nurmagomedov’s request remains to be seen.

Either way, it appears clear that Nurmagomedov is hoping to move past the middle-tier lightweights like Kamal Shalorus, Gleison Tibau, Thiago Tavares and Trujillo and onto a bigger name in the hopes of getting a title shot of his own.

For complete coverage of UFC 160, stay tuned to the UFC Events section of the site.

(Pictured: Khabib Nurmagomedov)

view original article >>
Report here if this news is invalid.

Galleries

Khabib Nurmagomedov Fights

  • 7 months ago
  • 3944 views

Comments

Show Comments

Related News

Don't Be Surprised if Georges St-Pierre Calls Out Conor McGregor | MMAWeekly.com

  • 29 days ago
  • 81 views

If Georges St-Pierre defeats Michael Bisping for the UFC middleweight belt in November, don't be surprised if he calls out Conor McGregor. read news >>

Matchmaker Says Khabib Nurmagomedov Was Offered Tony Ferguson at UFC 217 | MMAWeekly.com

  • 24 days ago
  • 31 views

UFC matchmaker Sean Shelby reveals plans were in motion for Ferguson vs. Nurmagomedov in November read news >>

UFC confirms Khabib Nurmagomedov was offered fight with Tony Ferguson at UFC 217

  • 24 days ago
  • 61 views

Behind all the Twitter sparring between Tony Ferguson and Khabib Nurmagomedov, the UFC tried to book the pair a fourth time.Filed under: News, UFC read news >>

Khabib Nurmagomedov to new interim UFC champ Tony Ferguson: 'You deserve this belt'

  • 15 days ago
  • 16 views

Khabib Nurmagomedov’s history with Tony Ferguson didn’t stop him from congratulating the new UFC interim lightweight champ.Filed under: News, UFC read news >>

Daniel Cormier Calls for Fight with Volkan Oezdemir Next | MMAWeekly.com

  • 25 days ago
  • 37 views

Daniel Cormier asked and the fans responded. The reigning UFC light heavyweight champion put out a call on social media recently asking who he should face when he returns to action in 2018 with the o read news >>

Dana White Calls Jon Jones the Biggest Waste of Talent in All of Sports

  • 5 days ago
  • 5 views

UFC president Dana White said this week that former light heavyweight champion Jon Jones is the biggest waste of talent in the history of sports. On Tuesday, Jim Edwards of MMAUno passed along White' read news >>

Edson Barboza Reveals He's Been Offered a Fight Against Khabib Nurmagomedov at UFC 219 | MMAWeekly.com

  • 4 days ago
  • 9 views

Edson Barboza is just waiting on a response from the undefeated Russian read news >>

Edson Barboza accepts UFC 219 fight vs. Khabib Nurmagomedov: 'It's on him now'

  • 5 days ago
  • 40 views

Edson Barboza says a fight between him and Khabib Nurmagomedov is halfway to being booked.Filed under: Featured, News, UFC read news >>

Darren Till: 'I Want People to Remember My Name' (UFC Gdansk Video) | MMAWeekly.com

  • 5 days ago
  • 23 views

Go 'On the Fly' with Darren Till as he prepares for the biggest fight of his life against Donald "Cowboy" Cerrone. read news >>

Aljamain Sterling vs. Rani Yahya added to UFC Fight Night 123 in Fresno

  • 5 days ago
  • 8 views

A bantamweight contest that could prove a pretty interesting grappling affair has been added to UFC Fight Night 123.Filed under: News, UFC read news >>