Khabib Nurmagomedov: It is high time to deprive McGregor of the UFC belt
The most successful Russian MMA fighter of recent years, Khabib Nurmagomedov, within the framework of the conference in the Hype app, answered questions concerning his nearest fight at the UFC 219 tournament against the Brazilian Edson Barboza. He also took digs at other stellar lightweight’s of the UFC: Eddie Alvarez, Justin Gaethje and Conor McGregor.
- Do not believe everything that is written on the Internet. I'm doing fine, as never before, Nurmagomedov said as part of his broadcast in the Hype app. - We changed a lot in terms of preparation and diet. Minus seven extra kilo’s two weeks before weigh-in. I think this is a good result. Now every day for 500 grams you need to throw off.
- Will Islam Makhachev and Abubakar Nurmagomedov come to the US to support you in the UFC 219 tournament?
- They had to fly, but there are some problems with visas. They are still under consideration. My father does not have a visa either. Even here, in San Francisco, there was a diplomatic representation of Russia, but it was closed. Because of political games, athletes suffer. Islam should next week receive it and fly to its training. He stayed a month before the fight.
- Are you ready for battle yourself?
I'm good. We have ten days to "boot". The last week will be light, cutting weight. And about the form ... You know, all fighters before each fight say that they are in the best shape for their career. I would not like to repeat myself. I think the fight will show everything.
- Did you read in "Instagram", what did Eddie Alvarez write?
- Read. What kind of a chickenshit he was the same he remained. Fighting with Justin Gaethje, like two alcoholics! And he after that thinks he's back? And how can he forget this defeat of Conor McGregor, which vilified him for life? Such defeats are not forgotten! It's my opinion. And the fact that he helps Barboza there, I do not worry about it at all. When the cage is closed, Edson and I will stay there alone.
- If the fight with Edson Barbosa is successful, what will happen next?
- Then at 80-90% I will fight with Tony Ferguson for the belt. It will be March-April. With the leadership of the UFC, we have already talked about everything. But Barbosa is not an easy opponent, so we are very determined. I have been here 50 days and I will be 15 days. During these two months I managed to prepare well. To be honest, I'm very excited about this fight. Because after I could not perform at the UFC 209, there was a lot of talk about my weight and fight. This all motivates me and pushes me. I'm already waiting for the weigh-in day and the fight itself!
- How are things going with the standing position?
- Everything is fine. I sparring all my life. Even 50% did not show everything I can do in the stance. Because the work in the stance is always 50 to 50. You get - you win, and the opponent will get - he will win. If I know that I can move an opponent to the ground, move, I will do it. For me, the main thing is that after the fight the referee raised my hand.
There are fighters who go out to show a spectacular battle. For example, Alvarez and Gaethje. Of course, this is very interesting, and I myself watched a duel with great pleasure. But they both did not like me as fighters. After all, we must also think about our future. If you spend such battles a couple of times a year, letting in the head for 50 or more strikes, then this is a great loss of health. You have to protect your head and brains. This is what I want to advise all the beginning fighters.
- Would you like to fight with UFC welterweight champion Tyron Woodley?
You can think about fighting with him only after I become a champion. In the meantime, I do not have a belt. Then what's the point of fighting him? I first need to finish my business, in my weight.
- What do you think about the fact that Conor MacGregor has not protected his belts for a long time?
- If a person does not have injuries and for some reason does not protect his belt for more than a year, then it is very bad. But when you are a champion and you do not have an injury, you must protect him. I really liked how Georges Saint-Pierre behaved in this situation. When he realized that he would not be able to fight in the near future, he did not delay the division. And this decision is the real champion.
Conor more than a year does not protect the belt. And I do not even know when he will do it. He has a name, the UFC is profitable, that McGregor is a champion. They earn money on it and will not deprive them of their belts in the near future. But my opinion is that Conor has long been deprived of the belt. Tony Ferguson should become a real champion, - concluded Nurmagomedov.
Recall that the fight between Habib Nurmagomedov and Edson Barboza will be held on December 30 in Las Vegas as part of the UFC 219 tournament.