Are the UFC’s top lightweight fighters ducking rising Russian star Khabib Nurmagedov? UFC President Dana White certainly seems to think so.
“Nobody wants to fight Khabib,” White claimed in a Twitter conversation with a fan yesterday.
Nurmagomedov appeared to be on course to fight Gilbert Melendez at UFC 170, but the bout was then mysteriously scrapped.
White claims that since then Nate Diaz has also turned down the chance to fight the current No.7 ranked contender at 155lbs who’s made a big impact on the scene in a relatively short space of time, racking up five wins in the Octagon since joining the UFC in 2012.
That’s left him with a formidable 21-0 professional record and given that he’s not yet a big star in the UFC it’s possible that some fighters feel they have more to lose than gain by locking horns with the 25 year-old.
White may have jumped the gun though as Melendez’s friend and training partner Jake Shields has claimed in an interview with the MMASucka website that Melendez could still end up fighting Nurmagomedov, he just didn’t want to get back into the cage this early in the year.
Meanwhile, Diaz hasn’t taken too kindly to the suggestion that he might have ducked the fight, responding to White on Twitter in typically blunt fashion.
“@danawhite @ufc are full of shit I didn’t turn down anything,” Diaz wrote.
“If you not scared, let’s fight!!” Nurmagomedov responded.
Diaz is currently ranked at No.5 in the division so he probably makes more sense than Melendez (No.2) at this stage, so let’s see if White and the two fighters can reach an agreement and make this fight official.