Sunday, November 13, 2016
Khabib Nurmagomedov: The uncrowned UFC Lightweight Champion
On this 205 fight card of Saturday, November 12 2016, I wanted to see three fights: Tyron Woodley vs Stephen Thompson, Joel Romero vs Chris Weidman and above all see Michael Johnson vs Khabib Nurmagomedov. I will take a minute to appreciate only one of them: the Dagestan: Khabib Nurmagomedov. His nickname: The eagle is befitting because the more skilled the opponent, the higher he flies. He makes champions look like amateurs. His mannerisms are confusing like his style is to his opponent. He seems the only Muslim who makes the sign of the cross, I suppose. After he won his fight, he called for a title fight which is well merited.
The UFC has her own polity and the argument it makes at times is that Khabib easily gets hurt or he cannot sell fights. There is a verse in the bible that makes me like this man: “Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might; for there is no work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom, in the grave, whither thou goest.” Ecclesiatses 9:10. I believe that whenever you want to do something, you should do it with all your heart and not halfheartedly. That is why he sometimes hurts himself. Even though he hurts himself, he has still fought 8 times in the UFC. There are many people who have not been hurt as he has, but they have not fought as many times as he has done. In addition, whoever he has fought, he has been a sheer wonder to watch. He has made all and every opponent, no matter how good or what has been their pedigree look like a journey man.
His striking is very good and his grappling is without comparison (the most takedowns in a UFC match 21 out of 27 against Abel Trujillo). He is the best grappler in the lightweight business and arguably the best in the UFC. That made him to control all his opponents in the octagon in his aggressiveness. One thing many do not realize is how good his striking is. Perhaps I should just state his record a little bit. He is 24-0 (8 TKOs, 8 submissions and 8 decisions) in his MMA career and 8-0 in the UFC. From his record, you can tell that he is a well-rounded fighter.
How do you know he will not sell fights, if you do not give him an opportunity? When I was made the assistant national coordinator of the Universities in the Full Gospel Mission, people began to say that I was too young, but when I began to spread the mission and the universities, age was now just a number.
The advantage of giving Nurgamemedov a title shot makes more financial, expansion and moral sense because he is well liked in Russia which has a population of 143.5 million. The PPV will be huge, and the interest into MMA will increase. The UFC will be able to widen their market. It is inexplicable how a man can be that dominant, yet he is not given a title shot. The best should fight for titles and not only fighters who bring in money. It devalues that title. The title does no more become by merit but by affinity. If you are looking at any dominant champion, it is clear that Khabib Nurmagomedov is the uncrowned champion who is being treated poorly by the UFC.
Yesterday again was something to behold. When the fight began, I heard the commentators talk about ring rust, but as the fight wore down and Khabib laid his hands on Johnson, it was correct if we all recited, “Johnson beware because the same grappling that rag dolled Trujillo, also rag dolled Rafael Dos Anjos." It was just a matter of time before we all saw the end of Johnson’s resistance. What then could hold the UFC from giving him a title shot? Who can deny him that title shot? His record and act in the octagon make it really impossible for the UFC to do that. The man has earned his title shot, so UFC should give it to him. As for now, he is the uncrowned UFC lightweight champion.
Until then, let people be judged by what they know and not who they know.
St Arrey of Ntenako
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