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Khabib Nurmagomedov on Jose Aldo's claim of declined title fight: 'I do not bully the little'


It didn’t take Khabib Nurmagomedov long to fire back at Jose Aldo after the UFC featherweight champion hinted that “The Eagle” turned down an interim lightweight title fight with him.

Although Aldo (26-2 MMA, 8-1 UFC) didn’t specifically name Nurmagomedov (24-0 MMA, 8-0 UFC) during a recent tell-all interview with MMAFighting.com, he did make it quite obvious who he was referring to.

Jose Aldo

“I won’t say who it is because it’s a surprise,” Aldo said. “A guy we never thought would turn it down turned it down, because his father didn’t think it was good. I’m tired of people turning down fights. I want to put some pressure so they’ll take the fight.”

Nurmagomedov’s career has largely been guided by his father up to this point, but he apparently wasn’t on board with the idea of fighting Aldo, even with an interim 145-pound belt on the line.

Less than 24 hours after Aldo made his statements, Nurmagomedov took to his official Instagram account to issue a response.

Aldo says, referring to me, that I refused to fight with him. Tell him that I do not bully the little. I want a real battle, and only Tony can give it to me. At this stage of my career, even if I win Daniel Cormier, fans will say that I have to fight with Tony, and I agree with them. I have spent my career in the UFC asking for the strongest opponents, currently in this division we must decide who is stronger, me or Tony? Without exception, all the fans and experts want to see this fight and I want to give it to them. And you, Aldo, I advise you not to lose the respect of your fans, including me, do not lose your head, do not fall for the mind games of the UFC, and be yourself. ❗ Альдо говорит намекая на меня, что я отказался от боя с ним. Передайте ему, что я маленьких не обижаю. Я хочу реальный бой, и это Тони. На данном этапе моей карьеры если даже я выиграю Даниеля Кормье, фанаты будут говорить, что мне надо подраться с Тони, и я с ними согласен. Я всю свою карьеру в UFC прошу самых сильных соперников, в данный момент в легком весе мне и Тони надо определиться, кто сильнее, я первый номер в рейтинге а Тони второй. Без исключения все фанаты и специалисты хотят этого боя, и я хочу подарить им это. А тебе Альдо я советую не терять уважение от своих фанатов, и в том числе от меня, не теряй голову, не подставляйся под игры UFC, и будь собой. #юфсишныеигрыопятьвтеме @ufc

A photo posted by Khabib Nurmagomedov (@khabib_nurmagomedov) on

Nurmagomedov belittled Aldo as being a smaller fighter he doesn’t want to “bully.” He then shifted his focus to fellow lightweight contender Tony Ferguson (22-3 MMA, 12-1 UFC), who is apparently the only opponent the undefeated Dagestani fighter wants to share the octagon with next.

“Aldo says, referring to me, that I refused to fight with him,” Nurmagomedov wrote. “Tell him that I do not bully the little. I want a real battle, and only Tony can give it to me. At this stage of my career, even if I win Daniel Cormier, fans will say that I have to fight with Tony, and I agree with them.

“I have spent my career in the UFC asking for the strongest opponents, currently in this division we must decide who is stronger, me or Tony? Without exception, all the fans and experts want to see this fight and I want to give it to them.”

Nurmagomedov, No. 2 in the latest USA TODAY Sports/MMAjunkie MMA lightweight rankings, and No. 3-ranked Ferguson are currently riding the two longest UFC winning streaks in the division. Nurmagomedov has won his past seven fights at 155 pounds, while Ferguson has rattled off nine consecutive wins.

The pair have twice been scheduled to fight, but both times the matchup fell apart, with the most recent being a headlining fight at UFC on FOX 19 in April. With champion Conor McGregor on the sidelines until mid-2017, the UFC is seemingly trying to put the matchup of contenders together once more, though, and progress toward that fight holds Nurmagomedov’s attention.

As far as Aldo goes, though, Nurmagomedov sent him a direct message telling him to pump the breaks on his talk.

“And you, Aldo, I advise you not to lose the respect of your fans, including me,” Nurmagomedov wrote. “Do not lose your head, do not fall for the mind games of the UFC, and be yourself.”

For more on the UFC’s upcoming schedule, stay tuned to the UFC Rumors section of the site.



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