Mixed martial arts (MMA) may not have a fighters' union, but that doesn't mean the fighters can't unite.
Not long after Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) interim featherweight champion Jose Aldo demanded his unconditional release (his reasons here), top-ranked lightweight contender Khabib Nurmagomedov warned UFC that he gets the next crack at the 155-pound crown.
"If I don't fight after this fight for the title, I never fight in UFC," Nurmagomedov told Luke Thomas (via The Score). "No more. Because I deserve this. I am undefeated, I never lose. Eight-and-a-half years, I never lose. And everybody knows that I deserve this fight."
Nurmagomedov (23-0) was on the cusp of a title shot against reigning lightweight champion Eddie Alvarez; however,featherweight phenom Conor McGregor was able to override that request and secure the Alvarez fight in the main event of UFC 205 next month in New York City.
Probably because of this.
"UFC thinks Conor has power? Ireland has only six million people. I'm from Russia. 150 million people," Nurmagomedov continued. "If the UFC doesn't give me a title fight after this fight, I'm going to show how I have power in Russia. And I know if I don't fight for the title next fight after this fight, the UFC will never, ever go to Russia. Never."
That's the kind of reaction you get when your matchmaking is a joke.
In the meantime, Nurmagomedov will still compete at the UFC 205 extravaganza in a lightweight showdown against the resurgent Michael Johnson. No doubt a win over "The Menace" will make it hard to keep "The Eagle" from the 155-pound crown.
Then again, it all depends on this guy.