clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Alvarez to Khabib: You beat no. 11 to become champion, pray on that during Ramadan

New, comments

Seems like Eddie Alvarez doesn’t think Khabib Nurmagomedov is the real champion.

MMA: UFC 211-Alvarez vs Poirier Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Eddie Alvarez attended Saturday night’s UFC event in New Jersey, which saw Kevin Lee beat Edson Barboza. Many lightweights are trying to call out the new champion in Khabib Nurmagomedov, including the last two UFC main event winners in Lee and Poirier.

Alvarez says the state of the 155 pound division is a bit weird, and thinks Nurmagomedov is trying to avoid him.

“A lot of guys hurt, a lot of guys out, in prison, praying, injured, I don’t know what’s going on,” Alvarez told MMA Junkie backstage after UFC Fight Night: Atlantic City.

“I know, 100 percent, matchup-wise, wrestling, stylistically, I watch the champion fight a lot. I am the guy to beat the champion. Not Dustin Poirier. Not Conor McGregor. Not anyone. I understand who I lost to, who I won (against). I’m the best style matchup. The champion don’t want to fight me right now. He knows. He’s going to pick off the wounded gazelles one by one. He’s going to take the good style matchups. I understand. Take them. I’ll be waiting in the end.”

The former lightweight champion went on to question the legitimacy of Khabib’s belt.

“What’s funny about this whole thing is, Khabib wasn’t a champion,” he said. “Now he’s the champion after beating no. 11. Let’s just get that out in the open. He says, ‘paper champion, who’s fake champion, who’s real champion?’ You beat no. 11, and now you’re champion. So think on that. Pray on that during Ramadan. No. 11, and now you’re champion.

“When I fought for the title, I literally fought no. 5, 4, 3, 2, then 1,” Alvarez continued. “I fought a champion, a guy who was a champion, who had a belt. That’s a real champion.”

I don’t get how or why Ramadan is relevant enough to be brought up in this situation, and it seems like an unnecessary inclusion when taking a shot at someone. It had nothing to do with the point he was making, and since the Islamic event only lasts a month, it also doesn’t affect Khabib’s ability to defend his (newly won) belt this year.

That being said, it is more than fair to question that “undisputed” tag. Khabib isn’t to blame, but just this month alone, there were three different UFC lightweight champions, and none of them got to fight each other.