When news broke that lightweight champ Rafael dos Anjos was out of his highly anticipated title defence against Conor McGregor at UFC 196, several fighters threw their names into the sweepstakes to try and get the big payday fight against the Irishman.
However, one of the willing competitors to rise up to the two-week challenge was not even considered by the UFC.
According to Khabib's father, Abdulmanap Nurmagomedov, his son was ready to face McGregor at UFC 196 but the UFC was not willing to make the fight.
"When Khabib learned that Rafael dos Anjos was injured, he asked the manager to call the UFC with an offer to fight McGregor," said Abdulmanap. "The only issue was the weight. Time to reduce weight to lightweight class was not possible but McGregor always said that fight with anyone. He said he wants to fight Robbie Lawler. If the weight is not a problem for him, Khabib agreed.
"UFC started talking about Jose Aldo, Frankie Edgar, but not about Khabib. Their answer was that they could not give him a fight in the welterweight division. But we already know what happened next: they gave him the fight with Nate Diaz in the welterweight division. Why did they choose Nate and not Khabib?!"
It was eventually announced that Diaz would face McGregor in a welterweight match-up in the headlining bout of the March 5 PPV show. A bantamweight title fight between Holly Holm and Miesha Tate will serve as the co-main event.