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Khabib Nurmagomedov expects title shot following Gilbert Melendez: ‘I think I am the No. 1 contender’

UFC lightweight competitor Khabib Nurmagomedov discusses the rehabilitation process on his right knee as well as his intention to face Anthony Pettis in the near future.

Armed with a better grasp of the English language, Dagestan native Khabib Nurmagomedov had no trouble making his title aspirations clear on Monday's edition of The MMA Hour.

"I think I am the No. 1 contender, after Gilbert Melendez," Nurmagomedov told Ariel Helwani. "I know Melendez is a very good guy, he was the Strikeforce champion, the UFC gave him a shot. After he beat Diego Sanchez, and Diego Sanchez is not top 15...I think it's no good, I think I'm the No. 1 contender. I am undefeated, 6-0 [in the UFC], 22-0 [overall]. I want after the next fight to have a title shot."

Undefeated in 22 professional fights, Nurmagomedov has one of the longest active winning streaks currently in MMA. He is 6-0 since joining the UFC roster and has earned decisive wins over the likes of Gleison Tibau, Thiago Tavares and Rafael dos Anjos, who is coming off a knockout win over former champion Benson Henderson.

Apart from listing his resume of victories, Khabib also emphasized how dominant each of those wins actually were.

"When I'm fighting Dos Anjos, he's a very good guy -- finishing him is very hard, everybody knows," he said. "Gleison Tibau, he's a beast. I finished Thiago Tavares -- Thiago Tavares is very good, too. Abel Trujillo, he's a beast. Before his fight with me, he killed one guy. After his fight with me, he killed three guys. He's a very good guy, Abel Trujillo is. [Nobody] has ever finished Pat Healy in the UFC. I think my opponents are very good and strong guys. I know I [haven't] finished, but I've smashed everybody in striking, ground and pound, wrestling, everywhere."

While he s not particularly bothered about who he cashes his title shot against, Nurmagomedov admitted he has a slight preference to face Pettis based on their previous verbal jousting.

"For me it's no problem," he said. "If Pettis wins, I think for me it's very good. I want a fight with him, but Gilbert Melendez is very good guy too, very good fighter. Maybe he wins, too. I think 50/50. But I will fight versus Anthony Pettis."

Transcription taken from