Wednesday, December 7, 2022

Khabib Names Only Two LWs Next In Line For A Title Shot

Despite UFC Featherweight Champion Alexander Volkanovski appearing to be in pole position, Khabib Nurmagomedov believes there are two lightweight contenders worthy of the next shot at gold in the division.

This weekend at UFC 280, Khabib will be present in the corner of his man Islam Makhachev, as the Russian 30-year-old looks to make the most of his first championship opportunity on MMA’s biggest stage.

On the back of a 10-fight win streak, Makhachev will look to end the 11-bout winning run of Charles Oliveira when he meets the Brazilian in this Saturday’s headliner, set for Abu Dhabi’s Etihad Arena.

Ahead of the contest, Khabib has been uncharacteristically vocal with regards to his prediction and confidence. He’s gone as far as to publicly suggest that Oliveira wouldn’t even turn up to Abu Dhabi, as well as stating that Makhachev should “roll over” the former champion come fight night.

With that in mind, the Dagestani camp has appeared certain that the UFC 280 main event will only go one way. And in a similar vein, Khabib believes one fight should determine who his protégé’s first defense will come against should he have his hand raised against “Do Bronx.”

Khabib Points To Another UFC 280 Fight

145-pound king Volkanovski has long campaigned for the chance to attain champ-champ status, and his placement in the backup role for Saturday’s pay-per-view main event has certainly thrown his name into the mix.

UFC President Dana White even recently noted that it would ‘make sense’ for the Australian to face the winner of the UFC 280 headliner next. However, Khabib omitted Volkanovski from his list of worthy challengers during a sit-down interview with UFC Russia.

After suggesting that the division is thin when it comes to contenders, “The Eagle” insisted that only two names have put themselves in position for a title shot — and it just so happens that they’re set to fight this weekend.

“I see nobody. There are just two guys,” Khabib said. “Beneil Dariush and Mateusz Gamrot. The winner of that fight deserves a title shot, 100%.”

Dariush had hoped to secure a title shot earlier this year when he was matched up with Makhachev. However, after a broken leg forced his withdrawal, the Iranian-born American is in need of another win to stake his championship claim.

Gamrot, meanwhile, recently rose to #9 on the lightweight ladder by narrowly outpointing Arman Tsarukyan in his main event debut. With that result, the Polish contender is riding a four-fight win streak inside the Octagon.

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