Dana White on Khabib Nurmagomedov: 'Nobody wants to fight this guy'

Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sport

With a 21-0 record and five straight wins in the UFC, Russian lightweight Khabib Nurmagomedov is fast working his way up the ranks.

Or was, at least. The UFC has run into trouble finding a next opponent for the American Kickboxing Academy fighter, as both Gilbert Melendez and Nate Diaz reportedly turned down the bout.

That's led UFC president Dana White to believe Nurmagomedov is being ducked.

Guys can say whatever they want, ‘I'll fight this guy, I'm not afraid,'" White said Wednesday on a FOX Sports 1 interview. "Nobody wants to fight this guy."

While Melendez has been quiet about a fight that was expected for UFC 170 which never quite got done, Diaz was blunt, telling his boss over Twitter "pay me."

White countered that Diaz, loser of two of his past three fights, isn't in position to demand a contract renegotiation.

"I don't dislike the kid, I like the kid very much," White said. "You've won one of your last three fights and you're looking for a contract renegotiation? The kid makes money, the kid makes very good money, and to ask for more money to fight makes no sense. Or he wants a title fight makes no sense. You won one of your last three, you looked impressive against Gray Maynard, and Diaz is one of those guys, he's a kid who always comes out to fight and is exciting. But to try to renegotiate."

So it's back to the drawing board for White, who heaped praise on the unbeaten fighter no one seems to want a part of.

"When you turn down fights like this, and it's not those two [Melendez and Diaz], it tells me no one wants to fight this kid. This kid says ‘They shouldn't want to fight me. They're smart.' He's calling everybody out, he wants to fight, he's my kind of guy."

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