Khabib Nurmagomedov is quickly establishing himself as a true contender in the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) lightweight division.
"The Eagle" picked up his sixth straight win inside the Octagon after soundly defeating Rafael dos Anjos in the prelims of this past weekend's (April 19, 2014) at UFC on FOX 11 event in Orlando, Florida, via unanimous decision.
It also marked consecutive win number 22 in his mixed martial arts (MMA) career. A career that has seen the Russian go unbeaten (22-0, 6-0 UFC).
According to his head trainer at American Kickboxing Academy (AKA), Javier Mendez, Khabib should be in line for a No. 1 contender's spot, given his body of work over the last couple of years.
He said as much during a recent appearance on "The MMA Hour:"
"Well, it would be advantageous, in his position, with as many wins as he's had in the UFC that he has a No. 1 contender's spot in his next fight. I think it's only logical, I think the fans would want to see it. And I think Joe Rogan said that he and Anthony Pettis, if Pettis is still champ, would be a great fight and I couldn't disagree."
While Khabib has shown that wrestling is his strength, Mendez says he has a ways to go to get his striking up to par. Still, Javier believes "The Eagle" is too much to handle for anyone in the 155-pound weight class with just his grappling alone.
"His striking is still evolving, he's still, in my opinion, pretty green in the stand up. His sambo and his wrestling is top notch and I don't see anyone in the lightweight division being able to handle that part of what he has. So, that alone is a monster for anybody."
For now, current lightweight champion, Anthony Pettis, has his plate full as he gears up to coach season 20 of The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) opposite Gilbert Melendez with a title fight between the two planned for later this year.
Which means if Khabib -- who recently shot up in the rankings -- wants a title fight next, he'll have to sit on the sidelines for quite some time or take part in a title eliminator fight to earn his shot.
But against who?