Khabib disputes claims over UFC middleweight king – Reuters

Khabib Nurmagomedov disagrees with his own manager’s claims he could beat Israel Adesanya

Retired former UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov has refuted claims by his own manager that he could return to the organization and dethrone dominant middleweight kingpin Israel Adesanya.

Nurmagomedov, 33, retired from mixed martial arts shortly after taking his record to a perfect 29-0 with a submission win over dangerous American buzzsaw Justin Gaethje in October 2020.

The Dagestan native held off a protracted charm offensive from UFC boss Dana White, who demanded Khabib return for a lucrative last fight in a bid to boost his record to a more symmetrical 30-0 – a goal which was previously declared goal of both the fighter and his late father and trainer Abdulmanap Nurmagomedov.

However, Khabib cited a promise he made to his mother as motivation for his retirement and firmly kept his word, and channeled his efforts into helping longtime associates such as Islam Makhachev on their own path to titles. worlds, as well as in front of his own fighting promotion Eagle FC.

But given the dominance he has displayed during his active career as a fighter, speculation continues to be fueled that Khabib could one day make an unlikely comeback – the latest of which has come from his own manager, the head of Dominance MMA, Ali Abdelaziz.

Khabib now weighs 200 poundsAbdelaziz told the outlet MMA Sherdog. “If Khabib comes tomorrow and goes to 185 he will stop [middleweight champ] Israel Adesanya in three rounds.

I see him. He’s beating heavyweight, light heavyweight, welterweight, lightweight – he’s unstoppable now. He’s like a tractor-trailer. If Khabib wants to come back and talk to Dana White and say, ‘Let me fight at middleweight’, he’ll finish Israel in three rounds..”

Khabib, however, isn’t quite behind his manager’s prediction.

I won’t fight at 185the Russian star said at Main Event, while in Las Vegas to collect his UFC Hall of Fame award.

I’m not going to fight him, it’s like, now it’s his time. Don’t try to take his greatness. How many years as a middleweight champion? Three? Four ? I think he deserves some respect.

Don’t treat him like that, like a lightweight can easily beat him. If we struggle, we can fight, like in the gym like I did with all these heavyweights, light heavyweights, middleweights, but go fight and talk about “oh, I can crush it”, I did not say that. People talk about it, I don’t agree with that.

Adesanya, 32, has been flawless in his middleweight career so far. The Nigerian-born New Zealander is unbeaten in 22 fights at 185lbs in his career, with his only defeat coming when he attempted an ambitious move at 205lbs to challenge light heavyweight champion Jan Blachowicz.

“The Last Stylebender” makes his final title defense this Saturday night in Las Vegas where he defends his crown against top contender Jared Cannonier – an athlete who has fought as high as heavyweight in his UFC tenure.

Adesanya currently has 11 straight middleweight wins in his UFC career – two behind the record set by the legendary Anderson Silva.


RT

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