‘Now simply one champion’: Khabib Nurmagomedov takes UFC lightweight deed

Nurmagomedov capped one the rockiest weeks in UFCs 25 -year-history with a reigning outing over a bloodied Al Iaquinta to triumph the 155 lb championship

Khabib Nurmagomedov, a native son of Dagestan, grew the Russian Federation’s first Ultimate Fighting Champion early Sunday morning. The 29 -year-old grappler manhandled and out-struck Al Iaquinta, of Long Island, New York, to take possession of the besieged UFC lightweight deed at the conclusion of UFC 223 at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn.

Since winning the 155 lb region in 2016, Conor McGregor did not defend the strap once over the last 520 eras. The UFC eventually decided to do anything about it and predicted Nurmagomedov( or his opposing) an’ undisputed’ region with a win. In the wake of Nurmagomedov’s lopsided decision victory( 50 -4 4, 50 -4 3, 50 -4 3) over Iaquinta, the UFC officially deprived the name from its Irish superstar and essentially treated the interim loop Tony Ferguson prevailed in October like it never existed.

” Now simply one champion ,” enunciated Nurmagomedov, who improved to 26 -0 as a professional mixed martial artist.” No more phony champions. No endorses who don’t defend the claim. Now the UFC has a champion and this endorse wants to defend his entitle .”

This doesn’t necessarily mean Nurmagomedov is No1- McGregor and Ferguson allies can certainly make a good debate for their guy- but it does residence the Russian at the epicenter of the fraction for as long as he manages to remain.

McGregor’s celebrity status and irrefutable ensues, and Ferguson’s success( he impounds a 10 -fight winning fleck within the octagon ), suggests that the trio will find opportunities to sort amongst themselves who’s the best. Yet McGregor’s legal issues and Ferguson’s health concerns prompted Nurmagomedov to call-out his idol, 35 -year-old Georges St-Pierre, who previously uttered a hope and willingness to remove to 155 to become a three-division champion.

” Georges St-Pierre, Conor or Tony it doesn’t matter ,” Khabib did.” All these guys are tough .”

The consolidation of entitles buds the broad-shouldered powerhouse- boasting a 32 -round win streak inside the octagon that topped a record to be prepared by St-Pierre- as the UFC’s lone lightweight titleholder.

Ferguson( the Dagestani’s original antagonist at Barclays) was removed from their main event bout on 1 April following a freak harm during a UFC photo shoot. The news was the first in a cascade of affairs that experimented Nurmagomedov’s resolve throughout engage week.

” The substance this guy went through physically, emotionally, mentally this week was unbelievable ,” read UFC chairperson Dana White.

On Wednesday, Nurmagomedov acquired himself in a oral showdown with Artem Lobov, an undercard soldier and a close friend of McGregor’s. The next day he basically shrugged off McGregor’s brazen and potentially criminal retaliatory salvo at the Barclays Center loading dock. And as sometime as Friday afternoon, after Ferguson’s replacement UFC featherweight champ Max Holloway was forced to bow out while cutting load, he didn’t have an opponent.

Prior to McGregor’s injurious antics on Thursday that avoided several soldiers from emulating at UFC 223, Iaquinta was slated to be included in a three-round contest on the pay-per-view section of the card. When given the chance to face the unbeaten, unblemished Dagestani fighter for a loop( despite weighing 0.2 lbs above the 155 lb championship restriction) Iaquinta stepped up.

” If you want to be champion- undisputed, undefeated – you have to be able to beat anybody ,” Nurmagomedov mentioned.” All week I stayed calm .”

Nurmagomedov played the constituent well and he stepped into the Octagon opposite Iaquinta( 13 -4- 1) with bequest in memory. He climbed onward on the judges’ cards, readily wrestling Iaquinta to the floor where he retained dominate and offensive advantage. As the 25 -minute contest undid,” The Eagle” opted to showcase his rate and athleticism by standing with the heavy-hitting New Yorker much more than his reces wanted.

” We had one game plan: push, take him down, is currently working on floor ,” the fighter told.” But I experience I was faster than him and I want to use this. When you do something for 25 minutes inside the cage it’s better for you than improving 10 weeks in the the gym. The event is different .”

A life of training has not yet become Nurmagomedov a complete mixed martial artist, nonetheless he sits at the forefront of leading cadres of Dagestani fighters who have asserted themselves on the world-wide MMA background in recent years. Almost all of them are regarded as tough, tireles, grapplers, but at an upper-class height that may not be enough win on a regular basis. Though the gap in Khabib’s knowledge continues to close, he hasn’t been pressed to change his game due to his dynamic and dominant grappling ability, which was sharpened by “his fathers”, Abdulmanap, since he was 8.

Successful title defenses could obligate Nurmagomedov a massive reap for the UFC, and White expects to promote the company’s firstly Russian incident this year, likely in September.

” I think if we go to Russia we’ll likely have a fight firstly without him ,” White alleged.” Then it would be awesome to have a fight with him .”

Asked about promoting Nurmagomedov-McGregor in Moscow, White wouldn’t make himself speak on it considering the Irishman’s fuss. Nonetheless Nurmagomedov said he visualized a world tour that took him and McGregor to Tokyo, Moscow, Dublin, Los Angeles and Rio ahead of a monster combat in 2018.

” I told you guys ,” he pronounced,” I’m going to make him humble .”

This is an area of life the piou Muslim hopes to share with McGregor. He has noticed the impact that luminary and coin has had on some jocks inside the UFC, and he does not wish this for himself.

” I don’t want this belt changing me ,” Nurmagomedov added.” I want to stay focused. Like next month is Ramadan. After Ramadan I stop training courses and want to defend the claim before the end of the year.

” I want to be the same Khabib before belt and after belt. This is not about me. This is about all the people around me .”

As of Monday, following a long flight home, that will symbolize family and friends in Dagestan. He has not been residence since September, and anticipates prodigious interest upon his return to Russian, where love and media have increasingly become a part of his life.

As for the deposed McGregor, Nurmagomedov accepted any have opportunities to get his hands on the person who is piloted from all the regions of the Atlantic with punishment on his brain.

” If he wants to be lightweight endorse ,” Nurmagomedov added,” he needs to meet me .”

Read more: www.theguardian.com

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