Dana White claims UFC’s ranked bantamweights are ducking Umar Nurmagomedov

Umar Nurmagomedov is a rising star in the UFC but has been struggling to find an opponent for his next bout. UFC President Dana White recently talked a bit about the difficulty in finding someone willing to face the undefeated bantamweight contender.

Despite being ranked 11th in the bantamweight division and boasting an impressive 4-0 record in the UFC, Umar Nurmagomedov is having a hard time securing his next opponent. According to White, almost every ranked athlete has refused to face him.

In the world of MMA, it’s equal parts about skill and star power. This can lead to picky athletes who want to choose the easiest route to climb the ranks before taking on tougher opponents. This makes matchmaking a complicated process.

Dana White has been open about big names in the UFC “ducking” dangerous newcomers like Umar Nurmagomedov. The Dagestani possesses a great skill set in sambo and striking, making him a formidable opponent.

Earlier last week Merab Dvalishvili expressed his desire to face Cory Sandhagen over Nurmagomedov due to the discrepancy in ranking. Dvalishvili is the number 1 contender in the division now but is trying to avoid facing longtime friend and teammate Aljamain Sterling to the chagrin of UFC execs.

Both stars have a reputation for their grappling skills, with Dvalishvili averaging over six takedowns per fight and Nurmagomedov being a Sambo world champion.

Dana White adressed the Nurmagomedov situation saying:

“We were talking about (Umar Nurmagomedov) earlier…that’s a guy not everybody’s beating down the door to fight…so yeah, we’ll figure something out with him…it’s always hard when you have these guys who are in the top ten, when you start going, seven, six, five, four…and then this guy’s behind them…” White said.

He added, “Nobody wants to take that risk on a guy who isn’t ranked…it’s tough. Those are the fights that publicly, everybody says they’ll take, but privately, nobody says they want to take them.”