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Khabib willing to defend title against any top 5 lightweight

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Khabib Nurmagomedov doesn’t care who his first UFC lightweight title defense comes against, because 155 pounds is the most “competitive” weight class in the promotion.

UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov isn’t picky when it comes to his first title challenger.

Nurmagomedov wrote in an Instagram post on Sunday that he believes 155 pounds is the most competitive weight class in the UFC. This statement, of course, directly followed Kevin Lee’s dominant win over Edson Barboza in the UFC Fight Night 128 main event this past weekend.

April was certainly a good month for the division, as not only Lee emerged as a top contender, but Nurmagomedov won the title with a one-sided performance over Al Iaquinta at UFC 223, and Dustin Poirier and Justin Gaethje put on an early “Fight of the Year” candidate at UFC on FOX 29.

Underneath Nurmagomedov in the top five sit Conor McGregor, Tony Ferguson, Eddie Alvarez, Poirier, and Lee. There are several options for Nurmagomedov’s first defense of his newly claimed lightweight strap, and the Russian ultimately doesn’t care who will stand across from him next time he steps into the Octagon.

“At this moment, atmosphere is very heated: there is Conor and Tony, Porier, Lee and Alvarez, all of them are good,” Nurmagomedov wrote. “Fight with any of these guys would be very interesting and competitive.

“I never choose opponent, fought with any fighter who was offered me to fight, and I’m not going to change that. I’m coming back November – December to defend my belt. Whoever UFC decide to fight me with, I’ll sign.”

Nurmagomedov was expected to finally square off with then-interim champion Ferguson at this month’s pay-per-view card, but “El Cucuy” was forced out of the fight with an injury less than one week out from fight night. UFC featherweight champ Max Holloway stepped up on short notice but was pulled from the card on weigh-in day by the New York State Athletic Commission. “The Eagle” ended up facing Iaquinta, who was scheduled for a three-round, non-title bout on the main card, but was still eligible to win the undisputed lightweight championship.

The undefeated Nurmagomedov (26-0) is 10-0 in the UFC and also holds a notable win over Edson Barboza. At this time, the UFC has not yet made it clear who it expects to challenge Nurmagomedov next, though a McGregor fight appears to be the ideal option business-wise.

Lightweight division is the most competitive division in #UFC At this moment, atmosphere is very heated: there is Conor and Tony, Porier, Lee and Alvarez, all of them are good. Fight with any of these guys would be very interesting and competitive. I never choose opponent, fought with any fighter who was offered me to fight, and I’m not going to change that. I’m coming back November – December to defend my belt. Whoever @ufc decide to fight me with, I’ll sign. ❗️ Лёгкий дивизион всегда был самым конкурентным в #ufc В данный момент ситуация очень накалённая, есть Конор, есть Тони, есть Порье, Ли и Альварез, каждый из них хорош по своему. С любым из них получится хороший, конкурентный бой. Я никогда не выбирал себе соперников, дрался с теми кого мне предлагали и сейчас тем более не собираюсь выбирать соперника. Я собираюсь вернуться в ноябре или в декабре ИншаАллагь. Какое решение #ufc примет то и приму. #bigdramashow #ufclightweight #mma #ufc #победатолькоотВсевышнего #inshaaAllah

A post shared by Khabib Nurmagomedov (@khabib_nurmagomedov) on Apr 22, 2018 at 1:46pm PDT




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