Khabib Trash Talks Dana White…During His Fight
There is something special about Khabib Nurmagomedov, and it’s the scary kind of special. At UFC 205, Nurmagomedov put a beatdown on Michael Johnson to the point of verbally advising that Johnson give up. He even sent some harsh words to UFC President Dana White in between rounds.
Nurmagomedov defeated Johnson by third-round submission on the New York City event’s preliminary card. After surviving a tough striking exchange in the bout’s opening minutes, he used his trademark grappling to send Johnson to the mat and have his way with him from there. Khabib’s ground game is vicious in a way that no other UFC fighter replicates, and Johnson was in pure survival mode for the final two and a half rounds.
Khabib was so dominant that he had time to speak to Johnson from top position, and the moment was captured in the UFC series "The Thrill and the Agony":
"You have to give up," Nurmagomedov told Johnson while dropping elbows and punches on him. "I need to fight for the title. You know this. I deserve it."
Johnson was not the only person to hear from Khabib before the final bell rang. In between rounds, during which most fighters concentrate on recovery and considering their corner’s advice, Nurmagomedov instead used the time to send UFC President Dana White a message.
"Be careful," Khabib told him. "I’m gonna smash your boy."
The "boy" Nurmagomedov refers to is, of course, Conor McGregor. Prior to the UFC 205 main event being announced as McGregor vs. Eddie Alvarez for the lightweight title, Nurmagomedov had been sent two bout agreements to fight Alvarez. As it turned out, he was only being used as a pawn in some sort of negotiation tactic to put pressure on Alvarez to take the McGregor fight for the amount of money they wanted to offer.
It appears Khabib did not take too kindly to being manipulated. Now 24-0, the Russian lightweight is arguably the most deserving contender to take a shot at the belt now held by McGregor. But, as the last two years have shown, the power is in McGregor’s hands.