Khabib Nurmagomedov hasn't been confirmed as the next man to challenge Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) lightweight champion Anthony Pettis, but he hasn't wasted any time in promoting a potential fight between the two.
This past weekend (Sat., Dec. 6, 2014), "The Eagle" crashed the UFC 181 post-fight press conference to lay the gauntlet down shortly after Pettis defeated Melendez (highlights), a challenge that was immediately accepted by "Showtime."
In attendance for the title fight between "El Nino" and Showtime," Khabib saw the things Gilbert did right, but mostly what he did wrong. While Melendez did have some success with his wrestling, Khabib says if and when he gets his shot against Pettis, he will dominate the 155-pound champion because his pressure and wrestling is on another level.
His words to Sherdog:
"My wrestling is on another level. Gilbert is a very experienced guy, good heart, good boxing, good chin. A lot of respect for Gilbert Melendez. But if I have fight against Anthony Pettis, I think I pressure him, hard punch, takedown and top control. I think he no like this. You see Gilbert Melendez take him down and pressure him, but if Khabib Nurmagomedov vs. Anthony Pettis fight, I think I will dominate him. I think he has only a lucky punch knockout. His kicks are very good, his boxing is not bad, it's okay, he's a striking guy, I like that. If you have a striking component, you need to pressure it."
In addition, Khabib says he has his fingers crossed that Pettis won't suffer another injury that sidelines him for "one and a half years" -- crisis averted -- saying he wants his title shot sometime in March or April.
And while Dana White and Co. have yet to make it official, the new rankings (see them here) suggest Nurmagomedov is due for his shot at the belt.