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Khabib: McGregor is running from Frankie and has no chance of beating me

Nurmagomedov says he’s “the worst match-up” in the UFC for the current featherweight champion.

Khabib Nurmagomedov and Conor McGregor pictured together after the Irishman's 2014 win against Dustin Poirier.
Khabib Nurmagomedov and Conor McGregor pictured together after the Irishman's 2014 win against Dustin Poirier.
Image: Twitter.com/TeamKhabib

UNDEFEATED UFC STAR Khabib Nurmagomedov insists that he’ll be the man to bring down Conor McGregor when the current UFC featherweight champion makes his move to the lightweight division.

Nurmagomedov also believes that McGregor is deliberately trying to avoid a featherweight title defence against Frankie Edgar, who’s seen as the number one contender at 145lbs following his first-round KO of Chad Mendes last month.

McGregor’s next bout is likely to be announced shortly, with the expectation being that he’ll move up to 155lbs to face reigning lightweight champion Rafael dos Anjos.

Speaking to ArabsMMA.com, Nurmagomedov claimed that McGregor has been courting an immediate title shot against dos Anjos because he doesn’t want to risk going through the division’s top contenders — such as the 27-year-old from Dagestan.

“I think Conor is a good fighter but if he thinks he can come to the lightweight division and have a chance of beating me he is delusional,” said Nurmagomedov, an accomplished wrestler who has a 22-0 record, with his last six victories coming in the UFC.

“I’m the worst match-up for him in the UFC. This is why he is trying to move up and fight RDA [Rafael dos Anjos] now. He wants to avoid fighting me. If he comes to lightweight and fights me I will give him a great welcome.”

Nurmagomedov and McGregor previously appeared to have a good relationship, although ‘The Eagle’ did claim in an interview last year that he’d need less than four minutes to defeat the Dubliner. And now that they share the same objective — the lightweight belt — Nurmagomedov obviously doesn’t want McGregor to get in the way.

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Having been plagued by injuries, Nurmagomedov hasn’t fought in almost two years. His last win came against dos Anjos and he’s hoping to be back in action by April.

Nurmagomedov, who — along with Frankie Edgar — became a member of the KHK MMA team in Bahrain last year, also added his voice to calls for Edgar to be given an opportunity to dethrone McGregor in the featherweight division. 

He said: “Frankie is one of my favourite fighters of all time. He has the heart of a lion. I believe Conor is running from Frankie. Frankie deserves the next title shot.”

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Paul Dollery

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