Khabib Nurmagomedov has watched injured UFC champion Anthony Pettis closely the past year or so, and isn't impressed with what he's seen. "I follow his Instagram, and I see every time he parties, and I think he’s a playboy," the Russian said in a recent interview.
"All my life I’m training hard. I’m training in mountains, I’m wrestling with bears, and all my life I’m training...He’s the champion, but he’s not a true champion."
Nurmagomedov is undefeated and has won twice since Pettis last fought, and won the UFC title. Since that time, Pettis has been out action with injuries.
He's currently set to defend the belt next against Gilbert Melendez. Injuries or none, Nurmagomedov doesn't believe a real champion should be able to go so long without defending their title.
"He hasn’t had a defense," he said.
"He won the belt, yes, but he’s a paper champion. I think he’s a paper champion. Everyone knows I am the true champion. The next fight, I deserve a title shot. This belt is mine. If UFC says I have a title shot, it will be very good for me. It’s my big dream.”
Nurmagomedov will likely have to wait for a long while to fight for the title. Though, it seems clear he's trying to make up whatever difference may exist between where he's at and a title shot with talk.