Khabib Nurmagomedov has been campaigning to fight everyone, it seems, in the lightweight division. He’s currently undefeated, and he’s been trying to get fights with both Nate Diaz and Gilbert Melendez. These bouts have not come to fruition, however, leaving Khabib confused and unsure of what’s next for him in the lightweight division.
It was reported that Diaz declined the bout, according to Dana White via Twitter, but Diaz quickly refuted the claim, saying he did not turn the fight down. Obviously something happened to prevent a Diaz vs. Khabib bout from happening, and hopefully something gets resolved, as Khabib is one of the best fighters in the division. He’s trying to build a case to fight for the title, but he can’t do this if he can’t find an opponent.
In terms of a stylistic matchup, Khabib would be very difficult for Diaz, who was out wrestled by Ben Henderson back when he was the lightweight champion. Khabib is arguably a better wrestler than Henderson, so Khabib could probably do the same, if not worse, to Diaz if they ever squared off. This may be the reason why Diaz turned the bout down, even though he’s declining that he ever did.
It’s always hard to read Diaz; he is accustomed to doing unorthodox things, whether it’s in the cage or outside of it. Hopefully he mans up and simply takes the bout with Khabib. It might be a bad stylistic matchup for him, but it would give him a chance to fight for the belt if he can derail Khabib’s momentum.
If not Diaz, then hopefully someone steps up and fights Khabib, because he’s certainly earned it, sporting a flawless 21-0 record.