Nurmagomedov has pushed for Islam Makhachev to fight Charles Oliveira next. However, he has said that if his protégé, Makhachev loses, he would not fight again.
Khabib has been pushing for the vacant lightweight championship between Makhachev and Oliveira for some time now. Makhachev was supposed to fight Beneil Dariush in February. However, Dariush was forced to withdraw due to an injury.
On the other hand, despite defeating Justin Gaethje at UFC 274 via submission, Oliveira was stripped of his 155lb championship for missing weight before the bout. Oliveira wants the fight rescheduled.
After challenging Conor McGregor and Nate Diaz to fight, Makhachev accused Oliveira of “ducking him.” The Russian has offered that his vacant championship fight with Oliviera take place at UFC 281 in Abu Dhabi.
Khabib responded, “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.”
Oliveira’s coach has claimed that he wants to see Oliveira reclaim his title in Brazil.
Nurmagomedov stated he wouldn’t know how to feel if Makhachev was defeated. Makhachev’s lone defeat came seven years ago at UFC 192 when he was knocked out in under two minutes by Adriano Martins.
“I don’t know how I’m going to feel if someone beats Islam, because this is an emotional moment,” Nurmagomedov said.
“We’ve been doing these things together for like 20 years, I haven’t seen many people beat Islam. Maybe MMA, he had more than 300 amateur fights, I’ve not seen many people beat him.”
“With Charles Oliveira, I don’t think he can do something with Islam on the ground. Islam is good in stand-up too, last couple of years people don’t even touch him. Islam dominated all of them and last 11 months he’s finished four opponents. This is going to be fair if Islam fights Charles for the vacant title.”