All in on Khabib Nurmagomedov

When Khabib Nurmagomedov failed to reach the required weight of 155 at UFC 160, he didn't necessarily do anything to damage what should eventually correlate into a title shot earning performance.

The twenty percent of the $28,000 (includes $14,000 win bonus) purse that he conceded when he chose to not sweat out the three and a half extra pounds he came to the scale with, is nothing compared to what a prolonged winning streak has earned him.

I am of the belief the choice to not make weight was an intelligent one. The added leverage obviously was parlayed into a grappling performance demanding attention. He was able to save the energy lost by cutting the weight and utilize this to pick up a unanimous 30-27 decision.

The technique itself wasn’t ugly and plodding as most grinders are. This wasn't a case of the dreaded blanket technique which is as played out as auto-tune is in hip hop -- this was take your opponent’s back and impose your will upon him for 15 minutes.

The Russian phenom took down Abel Trujillo whenever he chose, bulldozing the UFC’s previous take-down record for one fight. He hit 21 out of 27 attempts (AKA: 77 percent) to surpass Sean Sherk's record of 16 that was set in 2007.

“The Eagle” has yet to taste defeat in his first 20 professional fights with 14 coming by way of stoppage and has now accrued a four fight win streak to start off his career in the UFC.

The detractors all share the same opinion as Dana White. When he was asked about Khabib following UFC 160 he simply said "He needs to fight higher-caliber guys." Yes he does Dana, and he needs to now.

Now it’s up to the talking heads to give this guy a legit contender. So is Patrick Healy the guy? After an impressive victory over the always tough Jim Miller, MMA fans were praising the effort of the 30 year old. Some wavered on this after it was revealed he smoked some pot, but most thought nothing should have changed following the positive test. Khabib has about as much of a right to demand back the 10 percent of his purse he gave Trujillo purely based on his dominance, as Healy does the much maligned Bryan Carraway.

I won’t lie, I am already looking past “Bam Bam.” I see this fight being a carbon copy of Trujillo and Khabib. Nurmagomedov's wrestling pedigree cannot be contained and unlike those who cannot impose their will in certain situations, he is not afraid to go fists up with Healy. Smart money says, the fight will end up in a suplex fest. Khabib is aware his time to make an impact is the present and I do not see him losing sight of the ultimate goal -- a title shot.

Khabib had been calling for anyone and everyone via Twitter, including legend B.J. Penn and the man poised to take Henderson’s throne before the controversial “injury” T.J. Grant sustained. Both stronger tests than Healy. So when it came out last week he would be facing Healy I was a tad bit bummed. I don’t feel like he gains much from this bout, aside from another notch on the undefeated streak.

This may sound like I am downplaying Healy’s ability and six fight (seven) Strikeforce winning streak of his own. [Side note: Just noticed one of the fighter’s Healy defeated was Bryan Travers of Fight Master] Not the case, it’s more of a testament to someone I feel is ready to be considered amongst the elite in the lightweight division. Nurmagomedov’s cardio tank is always full, meaning he would transition nicely into a 5 round bout against the legs of Henderson.

In all likeliness Nurmagomedov will fight someone lesser to fill time in between the champion’s bouts against people already in the titleshot queue. Fighter’s more along the lines of Jorge Masvidal or an in decline Jim Miller. I hope this is not the case, and the 24 year old is given the opportunity to continue distancing himself from the pack as everyone unanimously concurs.

Attention whore wig aside. Nurmagomedov demands respect, in and out of the octagon.

Come UFC 165, I’m all in. Are you?


\The FanPosts are solely the subjective opinions of Bloody Elbow readers and do not necessarily reflect the views of Bloody Elbow editors or staff.

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