Khabib Nurmagomedov entered his 155-pound showdown with Thiago Tavares last night (Jan. 19, 2013) at UFC on FX 7: "Belfort vs. Bisping," which took place at Ibirapuera Arena in Sao Paulo, Brazil, on an absolute tear, winning all 18 of his professional mixed martial arts (MMA) fights, with his last two taking place inside the Octagon.
Make that 19 consecutive victories and three straight inside the eight-walled cage after "The Eagle" completely grounded and then pounded his Brazilian counterpart into oblivion.
Referee Dan Miragliotta's shoddy officiating perhaps overshadowed the performance -- it should have been stopped when Tavares' body went limp ... not five painful seconds after -- but it was impressively savage nonetheless. The Russian fighter, who is currently training at American Kickboxing Academy (AKA) in San Jose, Calif., is fast, powerful and seemingly has a killer instinct that you just can't manufacture inside a gym.
With Tavares, Kamal Shalorus and Gleison Tibau all now in Nurmagomedov's rear-view mirror, he didn't hesitate about who he wants to fight next, saying through his interpreter, "Next fight I really want is with Nate Diaz." That might not be such a bad idea even if Diaz is coming off a loss, considering it was against UFC Lightweight Champion Ben Henderson.
However, Diaz still remains a Top 5 fighter in the crowded division, which begs the question: Is Nurmagomedov ready for such a significant step up in competition? He thinks he is and it's safe to say that most fight fans would be eager to find out.
For a more detailed breakdown of the showdown between Khabib Nurmagomedov vs. Thiago Tavares click here and for complete UFC on FX 7 results and blow-by-blow coverage of all the night's action click here, here and here.