Khabib Nurmagomedov has quickly established himself as one of the best lightweight fighters in all of mixed martial arts (MMA), racking up six consecutive wins in the sport's top proving ground to add to his undefeated (22-0) record.
That's why "The Eagle" strongly believes he's the No. 1 contender at 155 pounds, after Gilbert Melendez.
While he's okay in placing himself behind "El Nino" -- as he currently is -- Khabib can't wrap his head around why Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) gave Melendez another title shot so soon, seeing as how it wasn't too long ago that he blew his first chance.
Furthermore, Nurmagomedov says beating Diego Sanchez, someone who isn't a top 15 fighter, doesn't warrant another crack at the crown.
"The Eagle" talked about that (and more) during a recent interview on the MMA Hour. One which he conducted on his own without the help of a translator, thanks to his improved English.
"I think I am the No. 1 contender after Gilbert Melendez. UFC gave Gilbert, I know Gilbert Melendez a very good guy, Strikeforce champion, but UFC already gave him a chance but he lose. After he beat one Diego Sanchez, Diego Sanchez no (top 15). He beat him and UFC give him chance again. I think it's no good. I think I am No. 1 contender. I am undefeated, 6-0 UFC, 22-0. I think I am the No. 1 contender and I want, after my next fight, I want a title fight."
As far as a potential fight against current lightweight kingpin, Anthony Pettis, Khabib doesn't seem to think "Showtime" is too eager to step into the cage with him.
Probably because his wrestling and defense is lacking.
But what really has Nurmagomedov scratching his head, is why Pettis refuses to acknowledge Khabib as a true challenger, yet he has no issues asking for a fight against Nate Diaz. A fighter Khabib says loses more than he wins.
"Everybody wants my fight versus Pettis, it's a very big fight. I think he (Pettis) don't want the fight. I am no good for his style. I am pressure, wrestling, my top control, it's no good for him. He says he wants fight against Nate Diaz. Nate Diaz lose anytime, UFC. I'm undefeated, I'm the next contender, but he don't say, 'Khabib is good, Khabib is undefeated, Khabib is 6-0.' No. He knows why. He don't want this fight."
Perhaps the chance to settle this old score, is why Anthony eyes a future showdown against Nate, who just so happens to be Gilbert's friend and training partner.
Khabib, who recently underwent successful surgery (pic), is gearing up for a return to the Octagon early next year and admitted he has Donald Cerrone -- a man he has unfinished business with -- in his crosshairs.
After that, the Dagestani is confident that a title fight against Pettis will eventually happen. All he has to do is keep winning and "Showtime" has to do the same against "El Nino."