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Morning Report: Eddie Alvarez says he’s ‘Khabib’s Kryptonite’ and ‘you all know it’

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Khabib Nurmagomedov has only been a champion for a few days, and the wolves are already out and chomping at the bit.

Nurmagomedov won the UFC lightweight championship at UFC 223 on Saturday evening with a unanimous decision victory over last-minute replacement Al Iaquinta. Though the win was dominant, with Nurmagomedov taking every round on all three judges’ scorecards and securing two 10-8 rounds in the process, many were unimpressed with the performance of ‘The Eagle’ and saw openings for other elite lightweights to exploit when taking on the undefeated champion. Now you can count Eddie Alvarez among them.

The day after Nurmagomedov’s win, the former lightweight champion took to Instagram Live where he responded to the new lightweight champion, saying he is the guy to hand Nurmagomedov his first loss.

“I am Khabib’s Kryptonite,” said Alvarez. “You all know it. It’s the elephant in the room. I’m the guy in the lightweight division, the only guy, that can beat Khabib. Everyone knows it. He can run to Georges [St-Pierre] or run to Conor [McGregor] or run to whoever, I’m the guy. I’m the guy to put that ‘1’ in that loss column.”

Last week when Tony Ferguson unexpectedly pulled out of his planned fight with Nurmagomedov at UFC 223, Alvarez was briefly approached about stepping in to replace him but “The Underground King” was too heavy to make the 155-pound weight limit with only 6 days’ notice. Instead, the bout went to featherweight champion Max Holloway who was deemed medically unfit to compete on weigh-in day, resulting in Iaquinta’s last-minute promotion to lightweight title challenger.

It was an unfortunate set of circumstances for Alvarez, who has a history of staging major upsets and unseating unbeaten fighters, having become the first fighter in history to defeat highly touted lightweight Justin Gaethje when the two fought last year. Still, he plans on making it happen eventually.

“I will be gunning for the lightweight championship belt,” said Alvarez. “Khabib’s gonna take some time off, I believe, for prayer and reflection. I don’t know where that leaves me but I’m gonna sit down with the UFC and let them know, I’m the guy to dethrone this man, I’m the guy to give him his loss. I beat champions, that’s what I thrive on. I love belts. I love collecting them. I love beating champions.”

Since winning the belt, Nurmagomedov has mentioned St-Pierre or McGregor as the two fighters he would most like to fight next, though St-Pierre is seemingly uninterested and McGregor currently finds himself embroiled in legal troubles that could sideline him for an extended period. Add in the fact that Nurmagomedov’s greatest rival, Ferguson, is having knee surgery and likely out for a while, Alvarez finds himself on the short list of potential opponents for “The Eagle.” That’s what Alvarez is hoping for at least, and if it does happen, he plans on making Nurmagomedov’s title reign as short as his own was.

“Khabib is king – temporarily,” said Alvarez. “Everything is temporary. . . Let ‘The Underground King’ do it one more time and get that belt back.”


MUST-READ STORIES

Leverage. Brock Lesnar signs new deal with WWE, but still has option for one UFC fight.

419. Nick Diaz accepts one-year USADA suspension for 2017 whereabouts violation.

Champ. Video: Khabib Nurmagomedov receives hero’s welcome in return to Dagestan.

Close. Max Holloway says he came within ‘striking distance’ of making weight for UFC 223.

Chaos. NYSAC executive director Kim Sumbler opens up about chaotic UFC 223 weigh-ins.


VIDEO STEW

FIGHT MOTION.

Road to the Octagon.

Free fight.

Buffer calling it how he sees it.

Al wants a rematch.

Last week in a nutshell.


LISTEN UP

The MMA Hour. Interviews with Rose, Raging Al, Max, Zabit, Colby, and more.

Anik & Florian. Recapping last week’s craziness and UFC 223.

The Co-Main Event. Discussing the wildness that was last week in MMA.


SOCIAL MEDIA BOUILLABAISSE

Abdulmanap looks pleased. I think.

I’ve been waiting for this moment all my career. #Father Ждал этого момента всю свою карьеру. #Отец

A post shared by Khabib Nurmagomedov (@khabib_nurmagomedov) on Apr 9, 2018 at 12:58pm PDT

A hero’s welcome.

Ouch.

Seize the carp.

Family man.

Shoot for the moon.

That is a bold statement.

Man, Bernie Mac was great.

You, dear reader, could do better.


FIGHT ANNOUNCEMENTS

Pearl Gonzalez (7-3) vs. Barbara Acioly (4-2); Invicta FC 29, May 4.

Pannie Kianzad (8-3) vs. Bianca Diamondi (7-2); Invicta FC 29, May 4.

Julia Avila (4-0) vs. Marciea Allen (6-2); Invicta FC 29, May 4.

Liz Tracy (4-2) vs. Cheri Muraski (4-1); Invicta FC 29, May 4.

Shaianna Rincon (2-0) vs. Lisa Spangler (0-0); Invicta FC 29, May 4.

Allison Schmidt (1-0) vs. Macy Chiasson (1-0); Invicta FC 29, May 4.

Helen Peralta (1-0) vs. Cheyanne Vlismas (1-0); Invicta FC 29, May 4.


TODAY IN MMA HISTORY

2010: Anderson Silva put forth one of his most puzzling efforts, winning a tepid decision over Demian Maia at UFC 112 to retain his middleweight title. Also at this event, Frankie Edgar became the UFC lightweight champion, when a bad decision against B.J. Penn.


FINAL THOUGHTS

Take it easy and see y’all tomorrow.


EXIT POLL


If you find something you’d like to see in the Morning Report, hit up @JedKMeshew on Twitter and let him know about it. Also follow MMAFighting on Instagram, add us on Snapchat at MMA-Fighting, and like us on Facebook.




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