Umar Nurmagomedov is looking for a quick turnaround after scoring his first-career knockout at UFC Fight Night 217.
Nurmagomedov (16-0 MMA, 4-0 UFC), an elite grappler, showed off his hands when he knocked out Raoni Barcelos this past Saturday at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas.
“I didn’t train this, like single (punch), but sometimes your body’s using your skills, you understand? That’s why you have to train so many times, more than everybody,” Nurmagomedov said at his UFC Fight Night 217 post-fight news conference. “Then you will be champion.”
The unbeaten prospect was already struggling to find top-ranked opponents and claims Ricky Simon turned him down. As he continues to climb up the rankings, the Simon fight could come to fruition, but Nurmagomedov is no longer interested.
Umar Nurmagomedov wants to fight at UFC 285
He hopes to compete March 4 at UFC 285 and welcomes all comers – except Simon.
“These guys know our team, Khabib (Nurmagomedov), Islam (Makhachev), Usman (Nurmagomedov), different guys,” Nurmagomedov said. “We’re improving, we’re good, and they look at us like, dangerous. This one, I saw it. Because nobody don’t take fight with me in the top 15. Even this guy Ricky Simon. He say, ‘Hey, who are you like this.’ I’m here, Ricky Simon. Where are you? I will be champion. You will stay No. 8.”
He continued, “No, I don’t want to fight with him. I have a different name. It will be in March, I hope. March 4. I don’t want to fight with him because of when I asked him to fight with me, he say, ‘Oh who are you?’ I will show you who I am. … Anybody. Anybody, I don’t care. But not this guy. I don’t want to give him a chance.”
In the main event of UFC 285 on March 4, Jon Jones, 35, one of the best MMA fighters pound-for-pound and the most decorated light heavyweight champion in UFC history, will face former title challenger Ciryl Gane for the heavyweight championship. At the UFC Vegas 67 post-fight press conference on Saturday, UFC president Dana White made the announcement.
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