Khabib Nurmagomedov Says He’ll be Ready to Fight for UFC Title in Springtime

December 16, 2014

Following Rafael dos Anjos’ UFC on FOX 13 win over Nate Diaz on Saturday, UFC president Dana White said that the Brazilian lightweight was next in line to face champion Anthony Pettis.

UFC on FX: Tavares v NurmagomedovPettis defended his title at UFC 181 on Dec. 6, defeating Gilbert Melendez by submission. During the event’s post-fight press conference at the Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas, undefeated Khabib Nurmagomedov challenged the champion to a fight. Pettis quickly accepted. Verbal agreements are good for headlines, but they don’t hold much weight without a bout agreement.

SEE ALSO: Rafael dos Anjos vs. Nate Diaz Fight Highlights

It doesn’t help matters that Nurmagovedov is still recovering from a knee injury and is eyeing a spring return (April or May). That timeframe doesn’t align with Pettis’ plans to have a quick turnaround.

The 26-year-old is the top ranked contender in the 155-pound division, but timing is everything.

“I would say if Khabib is healthy right now it would probably be Khabib. But he’s not. So it’s dos Anjos,” said White following UFC on FOX 13.

SEE ALSO: Rafael dos Anjos Gets Next Crack at Anthony Pettis

Dos Anjos lost to Nurmagomedov in April, but somehow leapfrogged the Russian in the rankings. Nurmagomedov reacted to the strange ranking change via Twitter.

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