Khabib Nurmagomedov has fired plenty of verbal shots at Anthony Pettis over the last few months, and that hasn’t stopped, following the latter’s one sided loss to Rafael dos Anjos at UFC 185.
As you likely recall, heading into last weekend’s title fight, Nurmagomedov raised thousands of eyebrows by saying dos Anjos would “smash” Pettis on March 14th. While not everyone is likely on the same page, in terms of whether dos Anjos ‘smashed’ Pettis or not, there’s no denying that the new champ rocked the MMA world with his performance.
Well, Nurmagomedov recently appeared on “The MMA Hour”, and he was asked why he was so certain that dos Anjos would defeat Pettis. Here is some of what the undefeated lightweight and top contender had to say (quotes via MMA Fighting.com):
“Because I feel Rafael dos Anjos when I fight with him,” Nurmagomedov said. “Before fight with me, he smash five- win streak. He smash a lot of guys, smash Cowboy Cerrone too. And after me he have very good win streak, three win streak, knock out Benson Henderson. When I fight with Rafael dos Anjos, I feel he’s very strong guy, but when I say he smash Anthony Pettis, a lot of people say, ‘Khabib says trash talk…”
“I think he’s no bad fighter. But his ground, his grappling and wrestling, is zero,” Nurmagomedov said. “This is my mind. I think he’s maybe top-10. Maybe. Maybe. I think a lot of people in lightweight can beat this guy.”
Well, chances are most fans and pundits still believe Pettis is a top five fighter, much less a top ten ranked one. If you’re wondering, “The Eagle” said himself, dos Anjos, Donald Cerrone and Michael Johnson are the top four guys in the 155 division. How about that?
Nurmagomedov also brought up the fact that it wasn’t long ago when UFC boss man Dana White said Pettis was the best “pound-for-pound fighter”, and that Duke Roufus compared “Showtime” to Floyd Mayweather. The ridiculously talented grappler referred to those arguments as a “joke.”
So, the debate regarding Pettis aside, Nurmagomedov is scheduled to fight Donald Cerrone at UFC 187 on May 23rd. The winner will advance to face dos Anjos later this year. That event will go down at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.