Khabib Nurmagomedov might be out of the UFC lightweight division but he is still keeping an eye on rankings. The competition at the top of the division is tight with almost any fighter in the top five worthy of a title shot. Champion Charles Oliveira already has his hands full, he is set to make his first defense against Dustin Poirier but who will be next? Nurmagomedov has an idea.
— MMAFighting.com (@MMAFighting) November 11, 2021
“In last 8 fight, you got finished 3 times Justin,” Khabib wrote. “You had an opportunity to become champion, but you fell asleep 😴 Islam is on the 9 win streak, 3 fight in 2021 and all finishes. Just shut up and admit that Islam deserves this title shot, not you.”
The comment was in response to an ESPN post saying that Justin Gaethje believes he is next for the title. Nurmagomedov is hyping up his protege Islam Makhachev and for good reason. Since coming to the UFC, Makhachev has only lost one fight and has now won nine in a row. His last win was over Dan Hooker at UFC 267 and with that win, he shot up into the top five.
Gaethje has been calling for a title shot even before his big win over Michael Chandler at UFC 268. It seems that now he is the rightful choice and he wants to make that known. Following Nurmagomedov’s comment, Gaethje responded by calling him out on whether it is actually Nurmagomedov writing these things.
I honestly do not believe it’s @TeamKhabib saying this stuff. He got someone else running that shit or something.
— Justin Gaethje 🇺🇸 (@Justin_Gaethje) November 12, 2021
Nurmagomedov’s manager Ali Abdelaziz has been called out on multiple occasions for tweeting for his fighters. Gaethje is also managed by Abdelaziz and might have the inside scoop on this situation. Either way these two men, Gathje and Makhachev are the front runners for the next title shot. It is unlikely that they will face each other at this time to prove who is the best but both are still relatively young in their careers and perhaps that time could come.