Former Strikeforce lightweight champ Gilbert Melendez got past Diego Sanchez in one of the fights of the year at UFC 166 and is now looking for the next challenge. Since it doesn't appear he'll be getting a title shot right away, who could that next challenge be? None other than Khabib Nurmagomedov. In an interview with Fox LA before the Sanchez fight, Gil was asked who he'd like to face if he got by Diego and didn't get the shot. Here's what he said:
"I know this up-and-comer by the name of Khabib, I think people would like to see that match up. You know, he's not the biggest name so business-wise it's probably not the best move, but I'm intrigued by it. It would be a great challenge, everyone's hyped up on him. Him and Pat Healy were two guys on winning streaks, and they fought each other and he won. So he's a guy up there."
Seemingly in response to that, Nurmagomedov turned to Instagram to respond with a mocked up poster:
Melendez (27-3) is 1-1 in the UFC thus far, narrowing losing a title shot to Ben Henderson and picking up the win over Sanchez. Nurmagomedov (21-0) is 5-0 in the UFC thus far, most recently defeating Healy by unanimous decision.
The bout obviously isn't set or anything, but it's clear that they'd like to face off. Could it happen in New Jersey? We'll have to wait and see.