‘Now exactly one champion’: Khabib Nurmagomedov takes UFC lightweight designation

Nurmagomedov capped one the rockiest weeks in UFCs 25 -year-history with a reigning outing over a bloodied Al Iaquinta to prevail 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 name at the conclusion of UFC 223 at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn.

Since acquiring the 155 lb region in 2016, Conor McGregor did not represent the strap formerly over the last 520 periods. The UFC ultimately decided to do something about it and promised Nurmagomedov( or his resist) an’ undisputed’ loop with a acquire. 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 designation from its Irish superstar and essentially considered the interim region Tony Ferguson won in October like it never existed.

” Now merely one champion ,” said Nurmagomedov, who improved to 26 -0 as a professional mixed martial artist.” No more imitation champions. No champions who don’t represent the entitlement. Now the UFC has a champion and this champion wants to defend his designation .”

This doesn’t necessarily mean Nurmagomedov is No1- McGregor and Ferguson advocates can definitely make a good argument for their person- but it does place the Russian at the epicentre of the division for as long as he manages to remain.

McGregor’s celebrity status and undeniable answers, and Ferguson’s success( he nurses a 10 -fight win flash inside the octagon ), suggests that the trio knows where to find opportunities to sorting amongst themselves who’s best available. Yet McGregor’s legal issues and Ferguson’s health fears spurred Nurmagomedov to call-out his idol, 35 -year-old Georges St-Pierre, who has ever showed a libido and willingness to descend to 155 to become a three-division champion.

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

The consolidation of designations needles 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 foe at Barclays) was removed from their main event bout on 1 April following a freak harm during a UFC photo shoot. The information was the first in a cascade of episodes that researched Nurmagomedov’s resolve throughout combat week.

” The material this person went through physically, emotionally, mentally the coming week was awesome ,” supposed UFC chairman Dana White.

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

Prior to McGregor’s damaging antics on Thursday that impeded various boxers from vying at UFC 223, Iaquinta was slated to appear in a three-round contest on the pay-per-view fraction of the card. When given the chance to face the unbeaten, unblemished Dagestani fighter for a region( 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 added.” All week I bided calm .”

Nurmagomedov played the part well and he stepped into the Octagon opposite Iaquinta( 13 -4- 1) with bequest in judgment. He rushed ahead on the reviewers’ placards, readily fighting Iaquinta to the floor where he preserved govern and offensive predominance. As the 25 -minute contest revealed,” The Eagle” opted to showcase his rapidity and athleticism by standing with the heavy-hitting New Yorker much more than his reces wanted.

” We had one game plan: pres, take him down, is currently working on ground ,” the fighter suggested.” But I find I was faster than him and I want to use this. When you do something for 25 instants inside the enclosure it’s better for you than qualifying 10 weeks in the the gym. The suffer is different .”

A life of training has not yet realized 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 MMA background in recent years. Almost all of them are regarded as tough, diligent, grapplers, but at an society height that may not be enough win on a regular basis. Though disparities between Khabib’s knowledge continues to close, he hasn’t been pressed to diversify his competition due to his dynamic and dominant grappling ability, which was honed by his father, Abdulmanap, since he was 8.

Successful title protections could represent Nurmagomedov a massive gather for the UFC, and White expects to promote the company’s first Russian phenomenon this year, likely in September.

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

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

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

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

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

” I want to be the same Khabib before region and after loop. There is no question of me. This is about all the people around me .”

As of Monday, following a long flight dwelling, that they are able to entail family and friends in Dagestan. He has not been residence since September, and foresees prodigious interest upon his return to Russian, where fans and media is becoming more and more become a part of his life.

As for the deposed McGregor, Nurmagomedov greeted any chance to get his hands on the person who is ran from all the regions of the Atlantic with retaliation on his psyche.

” If he wants to be lightweight champion ,” Nurmagomedov alleged,” he needs to meet me .”

Read more: www.theguardian.com

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