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Khabib Nurmagomedov believes dos Anjos will ‘smash’ Pettis with strikes

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UFC lightweight Khabib Nurmagomedov claims that Rafael dos Anjos will “smash” Anthony Pettis at UFC 185.

David Manning-USA TODAY Sports

During Khabib Nurmagomedov's extended stay on the sidelines in the second half of 2014, he spent a significant portion of his time targeting UFC lightweight champion Anthony Pettis with a verbal onslaught in the hopes of setting up a title fight upon his return. Now, Khabib isn't even certain that he will get to fight the current champ when he earns his lightweight title shot.

When Pettis steps into the octagon on Saturday night at UFC 185, Khabib expects Rafael dos Anjos to "smash" him "100 percent."

"I think [dos Anjos] smashes [Pettis] in striking and I think he smashes him on the ground," Nurmagomedov told "This is my opinion. I don't know why, but I think he'll smash him."

The Dagestani added that his own victory over dos Anjos was one of the more difficult ones in his career, and that he doubts anyone can produce as dominant a win as he did.

"Dos Anjos is no easy man," Nurmagomedov said. "A lot of people watch and think I beat him easy, but it was not easy. It was no easy fight.

"I beat him, but nobody beat him like me."

Khabib has been stuck on the sidelines nursing a knee injury since his last win back in April 2014. The victory came in the form of a unanimous decision against upcoming title challenger dos Anjos. It marked the Dagestan native's sixth straight win in the UFC, and extended his undefeated streak to an impressive 22-0. He will now look to add to that win streak when he faces Donald Cerrone at UFC 187.

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