Khabib Nurmagomedov insists he won’t make a UFC return even if protege Islam Makhachev loses to Charles Oliveira.
The now-retired UFC legend has been pushing for Makhachev to fight Oliveira for the vacant lightweight title next. Oliveira was stripped of his 155lb title despite submitting Justin Gaethje at UFC 274 after he missed weight before the fight.https://get-latest.convrse.media/?url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.mirror.co.uk%2Fsport%2Fother-sports%2Fmma%2Fkhabib-nurmagomedov-charles-oliveira-ufc-27005898&cre=top&cip=3&view=web
Makhachev was scheduled to fight Beneil Dariush in February, but Dariush pulled out of the fight with an injury. Oliveira wants to see that fight rescheduled to decide his challenger for the vacant title, but Nurmagomedov thinks Makhachev already deserves a shot at the belt.
“If he [Oliveira] beats Islam, of course I’m going to feel bad. Of course I’m going to feel bad, but there’s no way people can talk about, ‘How you’re going to come back?’ Please leave me alone, let these guys fight,” he told ESPN MMA.
“This is different time, different fighters now, they’re prime time and we have to understand who’s the best lightweight in the world right now between Charles and Islam.”
Makhachev has accused Oliveira of “ducking him” after the Brazilian challenged Conor McGregor and Nate Diaz to fight in the same night. The Russian has suggested UFC 281 in Abu Dhabi as a potential date for his vacant title with Oliviera. Oliveira’s coach has stated he wants to see ‘Do Bronx’ earn his belt back in Brazil, with Nurmagomedov stating the UFC is targeting a “big show” in the country this December.