It takes more work than most of us will ever understand to become a stable fighter, and by stable I mean a continually ranked fighter. It would only make sense that once the fighter is there, he or she only wants big fights, or at the very least fights that mean something.
It seems that Khabib Nurmagomedov is in one tricky spot. Nurmagomedov is not yet good enough to get the big fights, but he has been dominating the competition that he has faced. To a stable lightweight, it would seem that fighting Nurmagomedov is a very high-risk, low-reward fight, which is why Nurmagomedov is calling out every Lightweight under the sun.
You know him, and Nurmagomedov has called them out. Nate Diaz was the first for Nurmagomedov to name and according to Dana White, Diaz turned the fight down. Diaz said that it was because he is waiting for a title show, but the public thinks it is because he is afraid. Gilbert Melendez was briefly linked to a fight with Nurmagomedov, but that fell apart for unknown reasons. The other hard part about this is that Nurmagomedov is not popular. Yes, he is known by the hardcore fans of the sport, but what about the audience that just watches the FOX fights? They have no idea who he is.
Nurmagomedov could be a great fighter. I personally have him pegged as a breakout star in 2014, but he needs a fight to prove himself. Nurmagomedov has made it perfectly clear that he wants a top-10Lightweight for his next fight, but it seems that every fighter is hesitant because of the lack of popularity that Nurmagomedov has. It would seem that he has put himself into a very tough position, and he is now finally taking notice and trying to pick a fight, any fight, that he can.