Morning Report: Targeting a return in September, Khabib Nurmagomedov will wait for title shot if victorious

Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

Quickly shifting from prospect to contender, Khabib Nurmagomedov is looking to step things up from here on out. The Dagestani impressed in his April rout of Rafael dos Anjos, and is looking to test himself on a bigger stage.

"I was really relaxed," says Nurmagomedov in an interview with M1 Global. "It felt like sparring to me. I even felt I didn't warm up enough. We had a plan and I was able to execute it 100%. Train hard, fight easy. As you could see I was victorious.

"It was probably the first fight when I felt I could go five rounds. Even when the referee raised my hand I thought about five rounds. I feel I'm ready for it. Before a title fight I'd really like to headline an even to test myself in a five-round bout."

Having appeared on the main card of a UFC event just twice, Nurmagomedov reportedly turned down a headlining slot opposite Donald Cerrone for the promotion's Jul. 16 Fight Night event in Atlantic City. The devout Muslim opted to forgo a training camp during the observance of this summer's Ramadan. Spanning Jun. 28 to Jul. 28, practitioners abstain from food and drink during daylight hours.

"The beginning of September would be just perfect for me," says Nurmagomedov. "I need 40 days after Ramadan to prepare for a fight. I keep myself in shape during Ramadan but of course I can't train enough. I was offered a fight right at the end of Ramadan but it's a bad timing for me as I'll be starving for one month. The end of August, beginning of September will be fine."

Sitting at No. 4 in the UFC's lightweight rankings, Nurmagomedov believes he's just a fight away from a title shot.

"I need another fight before I can fight for the belt. [Gilbert] Melendez is fighting [Anthony] Pettis so the next fight for a champion will happen in May [2015] or so. I can't wait that long. I need another fight before the end of 2014. If Allah gives me a victory then I'll wait for a title fight.

"Against whom? I don't know. It could be the winner of [Donald] Cerrone vs. [Jim] Miller, Michael Johnson, Nate Diaz or T.J. Grant. Anything can happen. I'll wait for the UFC to call me."

Star-divide

5 MUST-READ STORIES

Cleared. Anthony Pettis resumes training following an operation to repair a torn PCL in December.

Jacare at 100%. Ronaldo Souza is fully recovered from elbow surgery and wants Vitor Belfort or the winner of Chris Weidman vs. Lyoto Machida.

Licensing Belfort. Vitor Belfort is confident he won't have any issues being licensed in the state of Nevada. 'What I want now is get licenses in every state because the UFC is a global company, and I want to fight whenever there's a fight. If I need a license to fight in Mars, I'm ready.'

Training Camp Journal. Get an inside look at MIchael Chandler's preparation ahead of his Bellator interim title bout.

Venom. Michael Page isn't quite Anderson Silva, but he's another reason to care about Bellator 120. 'When you look at Michael, honestly, he'll provoke a reaction. You're either going to love him or hate him.'

Star-divide

MEDIA STEW

Star-divide

Bruce Lee in EA UFC. Getting nervous about gameplay?

Star-divide

News and notes from UFC Tonight.

Star-divide

Frank Dux says he was the inspiration to create the UFC.

Star-divide

Royce Gracie talks fear.

(via r/MMA)

Star-divide

Nice profile on Eddie Ng.

Star-divide

Free Fight: Jake Ellenberger vs Nate Marquardt.

Star-divide

Long watches.

Star-divide

TWEETS

Star-divide

Get well soon.

Star-divide

To clear up any confusion.

Star-divide

Nice.

Star-divide

This got mean, quick.

Star-divide

Congrats.

Star-divide

Bless this cat.

Star-divide

Not done.

Star-divide

Get it together, bros.

Star-divide

Sounds like New York Ric.

Star-divide

Fight week poutine.

Star-divide

Yeesh.

Star-divide

It's tough out there.

Star-divide

Get big.

Star-divide

FIGHT ANNOUNCEMENTS

Announced yesterday (May 14 2014)

Alex Caceres vs. Urijah Faber at UFC 175

Star-divide

FANPOST OF THE DAY

Today's Fanpost of the Day comes via Graham Douglas.

Dan Miragliotta is the best ref in MMA. Here's why.

Dan Miragliotta is the best ref in MMA. He possesses one key intangible. It's called decision making. He has an uncanny ability to step in at the right moment to stop a fight. It's never too early and it's rarely if ever too late. His timing is impeccable and should be recognized and rewarded.

To say a ref is the best in the business should mean that they rarely make mistakes when it comes to stopping a fight. You can't teach it. It's clearly a judgement call that even the so called best MMA refs have struggled with. Look at some recent fights in the UFC and the questionable stoppages in some of the biggest fights.

Being a referee in any sport is thankless. You want pressure? Make a call late in a game that's going to most likely influence the outcome of a game. When you're talking MMA, the pressure is tenfold. Some refs to me get caught up in the magnitude of the moment and that clouds their judgement on when to stop a fight or to let it go on. It's even more difficult a decision because MMA fighters are incredibly tough and can withstand more punishment than most other humans.

...

Check out the rest of the post here.

Star-divide

Found something you'd like to see in the Morning Report? Just hit me up on Twitter @SaintMMA and we'll include it in tomorrow's column.

More from MMA Fighting

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join MMA Fighting

You must be a member of MMA Fighting to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at MMA Fighting. You should read them.

Join MMA Fighting

You must be a member of MMA Fighting to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at MMA Fighting. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.

tracking_pixel_5349_tracker