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“No. 1 Bullshit”

In a recent interview on Five Rounds podcast with Brent Okamoto, No. 1 lightweight contender Khabib Nurmagomedov didn’t mince words on who he thought should be next for a title shot.

“Conor McGregor fights in the UFC in a lighter division and the UFC wants to give him title shot? I think this is No. 1 bullshit. They cannot give him a title shot because he’s never fought with the top guys, like top five, top 10 in the lightweight division, and they want to give him title shot? “

I agree. I don’t think McGregor has earned a lightweight title shot for any reason other than his undeniable drawing power. Granted, Khabib’s only match in 2 years was a win against unknown Darrell Horcher, but before that he did beat former lightweight champion Rafael Dos Anjos, and is still undefeated. Still not enough? He’s the number 1 contender. While that may not hold as much weight as it did in the past, conventionally, if you haven’t lost to the current champ in recent history and you hold No. 1 contendership, then you get the shot.

“Conor’s stuck two divisions, featherweight and lightweight. Now Conor makes the decisions…

“I want to fight at 205 in New York, maybe fight with Eddie Alvarez. I love this fight. I want to fight for the belt. All fans, coaches, fighters, analytics, everybody agrees and knows who deserves this title shot. I deserve it. I am No. 1 ranked. Why UFC put me on No. 1 ranking if they don’t want to give me title shot? Why do they make rankings?”

Why do they make ranking? Honestly, it may be a thing of the past. But getting back to the original point, does a 2 year hiatus really justify getting to the back of the line? It didn’t justify it for Dominick Cruz, it didn’t justify it for Jon Bones Jones, and I’m sure it won’t justify it for GSP. People complain that Khabib hasn’t fought the big names, well here’s his shot, this is the time we get to see what Khabib’s really made of. Besides, if not him, then who? Michael Johnson, Nate Diaz, RDA, Tony Ferguson? Who exactly is more deserving?

This is not to say Conor can’t win that fight. I could definitely see him out striking Alvarez if the current champion can’t get him to the ground. But if we’re talking about “deserving” at light heavyweight, Khabib is your guy. As for as Conor’s well thought out argument, it goes a little something like this…


While I like his style, and really this just adds to his appeal, I don’t think it’s a compelling argument. Nurmagomedov is no fool however and realizes you don’t always get what you deserve. Coupled with the fact Eddie Alvarez has been angling for the big money fight against McGregor since UFC 202, Khabib is already looking forward to other fights in case he doesn’t win the bid.


“I’m still focused. If the UFC gives him a title shot, it’s okay. I’m a little bit not happy and at the same time I’m a little bit happy, because if the UFC gives him a title shot and he becomes lightweight champion and I win somebody like a top five guy, then we have to fight and he has to fight with me…”

“Michael Johnson already beat Edson Barboza, he already beat Dustin Poirier, he already beat Tony Ferguson. I think Michael is good if I don’t fight for the title. Michael, Edson, I like Michael Chiesa but he’s still injured, somebody. I don’t care who is my opponent. If UFC don’t give me a title shot, I want to fight with the best. I don’t care who.”

In a recent twitter post Dana White said it would actually be Khabib vs. Alvarez at 205, but now rumors are saying they might headline 206  in Air Canada Centre, Ontario December 10th. But a promise from Dana White is like flipping a coin, 50/50 at best.

Who do you guys think deserves a the title shot, and does ranking really matter? Can Khabib and Eddie Alvarez even carry a card? Chime in with your opinions below.

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