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Khabib explains why he told Justin Gaethje to ‘shut up’ and wait for UFC title shot

“I just shared with him my opinion. My opinion Islam deserves this, you know?”

Russian mixed martial artist Nurmagomedov arrives in Makhachkala after fight with Gaethje
Khabib Nurmagomedov brings the UFC lightweight title back to Russia following his submission victory over Justin Gaethje at UFC 254.
Photo by Press Office of the Head of the \TASS via Getty Images

Khabib Nurmagomedov has been doing a lot of talking as of late, with the undefeated Dagestani recently telling Justin Gaethje that he should ‘shut up’ and wait for his title shot.

“In last 8 fight, you got finished 3 times Justin,” Nurmagomedov, who is now retired, said. “You had an opportunity to become champion, but you fell asleep. Islam is on the 9 win streak, 3 fight in 2021 and all finishes. Just shut up and admit that Islam deserves this title shot, not you.”

Asked for the reason behind his sudden outburst against Gaethje, Nurmagomedov simply stated that he believes teammate Islam Makhachev is more deserving of a title shot opportunity right now.

Nurmagomedov believes Makhachev’s nine-fight winning streak speaks for itself and thinks the No. 4-ranked lightweight has done more than enough to prove his championship worth.

“I just shared with him my opinion,” Khabib said (h/t MMA Junkie). “My opinion Islam deserves this, you know? Of course, I understand that Justin is very exciting. Justin is like, he’s a real highlight. He’s a real highlight. But it’s my opinion.

“I think like anybody in UFC right now, doesn’t matter lightweight, light heavyweight, heavyweight, any weight classes – if you have nine (fight) win streak, you have to fight for the title.”

Gaethje, who came up short in his bid to become champ after losing to Khabib at UFC 254, has promised Makhachev the first title shot if he beats the winner of Charles Oliveira vs. Dustin Poirier at UFC 269.

UFC 269, which will see Oliveira defend his lightweight title against Poirier in the main event, takes place on Dec. 11 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.