Khabib Nurmagomedov is known for his dominance. His perfect 29-0 records demonstrate that but more than that, he rarely loses a single round when he fights. Very few men have been able to him in a difficult situation, but former lightweight champion Rafael Dos Anjos certainly thinks he’s one of them.
Officially, Khabib Nurmagomedov is retired. The undefeated Russian left his gloves in the octagon as a sign of respect following his submission win over Justin Gaethje at UFC 254. However, the UFC has yet to take his decision into account and he is still the reigning lightweight champion at the time of this writing. That certainly raises a few questions regarding the state of the lightweight division and Nurmagomedov’s future endeavors.
Nurmagomedov answered some of those questions during a recent press conference in Moscow. When asked about a potential comeback to face Dustin Poirier or Conor McGregor, the Russian gave a pretty clear answer.
“What for? I choked them both, why should I do this.”
These comments from Nurmagomedov sparked a reaction from former UFC champion Rafael Dos Anjos. Dos Anjos faced Nurmagomedov back in 2014 in a three-round fight. Although Nurmagomedov won and mostly dominated the fight, Dos Anjos made a very good account of himself. He also had the Russian in a very tight guillotine. In a recent Instagram post, he says that he would love to face the Russian again if he comes back to the octagon.
“Khabib said he is not interested in fighting Conor or Dustin as he choked both of them. He did not choke me. As a matter of fact I got him snoring until a slipping rib saved him from 😴. He beat me fair and square, but no one got closer to putting the Champ out. My plan was to beat his brother and go after that neck again. That plan felt apart for reasons beyond my control, but I will keep sharping my tools just in case he decides to come back and chooses me.”
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Dos Anjos made a successful return to 155lbs a few weeks ago when he dominated Paul Felder to earn a unanimous decision victory. He’s certainly not in contention for a title shot as of now, but a couple of elite wins could get him in a prime position to fight for the belt once again.