It looks like things might become a little more interesting in the UFC’s lightweight division.
When Khabib Nurmagomedov mauled Michael Johnson on Saturday at UFC 205 and stopped him in the third round, he used the platform to call out the Conor McGregor and proclaimed his candidacy for a shot at the lightweight title. He yelled into the mic in both broken English and his native Russian that he is the best at the weight and is the most deserving of the opportunity. McGregor captured the lightweight championship with a second-round knockout of Eddie Alvarez in the UFC 205 headliner.
On Wednesday afternoon, Nurmagomedov took to his official Twitter account on Wednesday and told UFC President Dana White that he wants a title shot or else. Nurmagomedov, even after dominating Johnson, dropped from the No. 1 contender spot in the lightweight rankings to the second position while Tony Ferguson jumped from No. 3 to No. 1 after he edged former champ Rafael dos Anjos UFC Fight Night 98 on Nov. 5. Now the Dagestani grappler is threatening to leave the promotion if he doesn’t get a chance at gold.
“I want to fight for [UFC] title for respect but if I don't get my title shot next I have different plan I won't be fighting in UFC,” Nurmagomedov wrote.
Similar tactics have been used unsuccessfully in recent weeks as interim featherweight champion Jose Aldo tried to force the UFC’s hand by asking for his contract to be terminated after the promotion didn’t force McGregor to defend the 145-pound belt. Thus far it hasn’t worked out for Aldo, as there appears to be no immediate plans for the UFC or McGregor to cave into the Brazilian’s demands.