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Khabib Nurmagomedov Talks KHK MMA, Injuries and Possible Match-Ups

UFC lightweight contender Khabib Nurmagomedov interview with ArabsMMA

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In 2015, UFC lightweight contender Khabib Nurmagomedov joined the extraordinary league of fighters that make up the KHK MMA Team of Bahrain headed by H.H Sheikh Khalid Bin Hamad. This move is something he specifically chosen for the team’s strengths in training, its vision, and the incredibly good sportsmanship of all those involved.

It has been nearly 21 months since this beast last entered the octagon in April 2014 and many have forgotten his displays of dominance throughout his absence. Yet his last memorable time in the cage when he spent three long rounds grinding the current lightweight champion Rafael Dos Anjos to a unanimous decision victory, being one of said displays.

Nurmagomedov may have recently been susceptible to more than a few injuries since, but he will be back in April 2016, with the right team behind him there is nothing this man of skill won’t be able to do. ArabsMMA had the honor to interview him and get his input on all his updates.

Nurmagomedov has garnered plenty of hype since his UFC debut in January 2012. He’s dominated every bit of competition placed before him, winning six consecutive fights under the UFC without having a single round scored against him. With the support of KHK MMA, forward is the only direction “the Eagle” is heading, and only with KHK will he achieve what he’s been wanting.

“I could have signed with many different teams around the world. When I talked to Mohamed Shahid, CEO of KHK MMA and understood his vision I wanted to be part of team. His vision is to develop MMA and to help a lot of young talented fighters achieve their dreams. KHK fighters from different countries – USA, Russia, Bahrain, Ireland, Mexico, India – working together and supporting each other shows the unity of the sport. What sets us apart from everyone else is the responsibility to care for each other and provide a foundation to be successful through our diverse knowledge, respect and honor. This is something I want to be part of even when I am done fighting. A lot of young Arab fighters will now have the opportunity to achieve their dreams through KHK MMA.”

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It has been a while since his match with Rafael Dos Anjos (RDA) in 2014 due to series of injuries he says come from nothing more than his excitement to get back in the cage. The most recent injury came in the form of a rib injury that had the unfortunate consequence of forcing him out of a matchup with Tony Ferguson in The Ultimate Fighter 22 Finale in Las Vegas this last December. The “Eagle” however is set to be back in April 2016.

“My recovery is amazing. I was able to go to Bahrain to do some rehab with my team KHK MMA. The reason for my injuries is I am anxious to get back into the cage and compete. I have to be smarter in the way I train. I’m on the right track and feeling great. I should be back by April.”

Thankfully, the thoughts of retirement that were surfacing have long been smashed. Look out Lightweight Division, the Nurmagomedov’s are coming back! With his father as mentor and coach, motivation can only be at its highest especially in a sports as emotional as MMA.

“I’ve been training with my father since I was 5 years old. Without my father I wouldn’t be here. He is involved with every decision I make in my professional career. I believe he is one of the best coaches in the world and our decision is final.”

A rematch with the current lightweight champion RDA would be a super treat for the fans in his comeback, but is it a possible and realistic option? After the previous scuffle between Diaz and Nurmagomedov at the World Series of Fighting (WSOF), the match up of Nate Diaz Vs Khabib Nurmagomedov could very well headline any UFC event and fill up the seats.

“I think my title will come when it is time. The most important thing now is focusing on getting back in the cage. I know RDA has a different fight scheduled. I’m probably going to fight against Nate Diaz or Tony Ferguson. After I beat them I will fight for the title and be the UFC champ in 2016.”

Nurmagomedov’s teammate, KHK’s Frankie Edgard, has similar plans targeting his division’s featherweight title in a possible match up with the current featherweight champion Conor Mc Gregor. According to Khabib, he believes Conor is running from Frankie.

“Frankie is one of my favorite fighters of all time. He has the heart of a lion. I believe Connor is running from Frankie. Frankie deserves the next title shot.”

UFC might have different plans for the Irishman as different match ups have been juggled for MCgregor, most within the lightweight division. Nate Diaz has called him out and in fact RDA – the current lightweight champion – welcomed the idea of facing him after brutally defending his title against Donald Cerrone at UFC. Anything is possible in the UFC but not “THAT” thing according to Khabib.

“I think Connor is a good fighter but if he thinks he can come to the lightweight division and have a chance of beating me he is delusional. I’m the worst matchup for him in the UFC. This is why he is trying to move up and fight RDA now. He wants to avoid fighting me. If he comes to lightweight and fights me I will give him a great welcome.

There you have it. The latest words straight from he who is considered one of the most dominant lightweight fighters around; Nurmagomedov. For more on that topic, stay tuned only on ArabsMMA!

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