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Eddie Alvarez: Khabib was basically handed lightweight title because of UFC’s upcoming Russia plans

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Newly-crowned Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov has already gone on record saying he’ll face anyone the promotion puts in front of him.

And there isn’t a shortage of volunteers eager to knock off “The Eagle.”

And though UFC doesn’t have any concrete plans to stage an event in Russia anytime soon, the country is in the promotion’s cross hairs and having Khabib headline that event would be the logical step to take. According to former division king Eddie Alvarez, “The Eagle” was basically handed the 155-pound title as part of UFC’s plans to take over Mother Russia.

“You know what no one’s talking about? Khabib talked about fake champions, fake belts., fake this, fake that, and everything is fake, fake, fake,” Alvarez said on a recent edition of The MMA Hour via MMA Fighting. “No one said that they were just begging to give him that belt because they had Russia behind him. Russia is going to be an open market soon, and it’s convenient Khabib has the belt,” he added.

Khabib claimed the undisputed strap by defeating Al Iaquinta via unanimous decision at UFC 223 (see it). But according to Alvarez, having the promotion just hand him the strap would’ve saved everyone a lot of grief.

“Now the guy who says ‘fake champion, fake belt, fake this,’ he has title now,” Alvarez later added. “They should have just handed it to him, the be honest with you. That’s what it looks like,” he concluded.

Eddie himself has thrown his name into the hat to be Nurmagomedov’s first challenge as champion. However, it seems the whole division as well as UFC is waiting to see if and when Conor McGregor returns to action before booking “The Eagle.”

Assuming “Notorious” has all of his legal stuff taken care of.