'If UFC don't give me title shot, I have a big plan. In few days you'll know' – Khabib Nurmagomedov
Nurmagomedov, who has a perfect 24-0 MMA record, showed a dominant performance against both of his opponents this year, including a third round submission victory against Michael Johnson at historic UFC 205 in New York City’s Madison Square Garden.
But taking into account the fact that UFC didn’t put Khabib on the main card at UFC 205 it's not hard to tell that the promotion is not too concerned about him fighting for the title yet.
Khabib still found a way to deliver his message to UFC and his fans, speaking after his latest victory over Johnson.
"I want to stay humble but other guys talk too much," said Nurmagomedov in his post-fight interview in the octagon.
"Beginning of the year your guy tapped like chicken. End of the year he gets title fight. Crazy!
“This is true. You know this. This is not trash talking. Irish only 6 million, Russia 150 million, I want to fight your chicken. What do you say about 24-win streak? Let's go, let's go with your chicken."
The video of his interview gained over 1,000,000 views on the official UFC YouTube profile alone.
Talking to media at the post-fight press conference, UFC President Dana White also confirmed that he received Khabib’s message about the title shot, adding, “it’s a good problem to have.”
But The Eagle went further later, tweeting: “if I don't get my title shot next I have different plan I won't be fighting in UFC @danawhite.”
Talking to RT Sport exclusively, last Saturday Khabib said more about his “plan B”, clash with Conor McGregor and representing Russia in UFC.
RT: What happened between you and McGregor at the UFC 205 weigh-in?
Khabib Nurmagomedov: He was watching me. I said, ‘what? What do you want?’ Because I saw a video that morning [of him] talking bad to Tyron Woodley. And maybe he thinks I am Tyron Woodley. I told him I am different. I am not Eddie [Alvarez], I am not Tyron. I am different. And he didn’t say nothing. He just said, ‘what? What?’ I did let him know [that] I am gonna smash his face. He said, ‘We’ll see. We’ll see.’ That’s it.
RT: When did it all begin between you and Conor? Is there any particular reason for your animosity?
KN: Because he moved to my weight. That’s why he is my enemy. Sometimes I respect my opponent, this time no.
RT: You have said on Twitter that you have a “different plan” in case UFC don't give you a title shot next. Could you tell us a little more about that plan?
KN: I have a big plan, a big plan. But after a couple of days you guys will know.
RT: Would you possibly want to move up in weight?
KN: Maybe, but I think I'm truly a lightweight, I'm not a welterweight. But why not? First smash Conor McGregor, take lightweight title, then fight for the welterweight title. I like this idea. So maybe.
RT: Tell us more about your famous ‘papakha’ headwear, that you wear before and after fights. What does it mean to you?
KN: It represents where I am from. My small hometown in Dagestan. This is traditional headgear for Dagestan, for Chechnya, for the Caucasus region. And it’s very important for me. Very important.
RT: You represent Russia for UFC fans. Do you feel some sort of pressure, because you represent a big country?
KN: Of course. Now I may be the best Russian fighter in UFC. In UFC everybody calls me Russian. They say, ‘that guy comes to arena wearing the Russian hat.’ I like it because Russia is 150 million [people]. I already said this after the fight [with Michael Johnson]. This is not a small country like Ireland. I have a very big fan base. And this is what I represent - Russian fans in UFC. I think Conor is a popular guy but if we talk about fans – I think I have more fans than him. If we have 6 million people in Ireland, what are we talking about? I have 150 million only in Russia. If we talk about Ukraine, Belarus, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Turkey.
RT: But does it bring you any pressure?
KN: Sometimes I feel pressure because a lot of people follow me. And maybe there are a lot of people waiting for me to make a mistake so you have to stay careful. Because that is not the same when you are like 17 or 18. Now you are different. Now you are one of the best fighters in the world. One of the most famous – 28 years old. You are big guy. You have to be careful with a lot of stuff. So yeah I feel that pressure sometimes.
RT: Do you think you religion helps you to stay focused and overcome that pressure?
KN: I think that is the number one reason why I am a disciplined guy – this is my religion. This is not about being a professional athlete, so I have to do this or I have to do that. That is because I am Muslim. That’s why I stay focused. That’s why I stay disciplined. So that is not about sport. For me it is everything.