When Khabib Nurmagomedov takes to the mic, he doesn’t consider it what we here in the United States call “trash talk.”
“I call this ‘truth talk,’” the undefeated Russian lightweight said on a recent edition of The MMA Hour. “Khabib ‘True Talk’ Nurmagomedov is truth talking.”
If that’s the case, then his “truth talk” at UFC 205 was as real as it gets.
Nurmagomedov chit-chatted with Michael Johnson while raining down strikes on his overmatched opponent on Nov. 12 at New York’s Madison Square Garden, imploring him to give up.
When he wasn’t true-talking Johnson -- who eventually submitted in the third round -- he had some words for his boss, UFC president Dana White.
Nurmagomedov wasn’t happy with a series of events in the weeks leading up to the card in which he expected to fight Eddie Alvarez for the UFC lightweight title, even being sent bout agreements, before the UFC decided to match Alvarez with Conor McGregor instead.
“I talk about don’t give me this bulls*it contract no more and give me [McGregor], I’m going to fight your boy,” Nurmagomedov said. “I talk with him what I think. But it’s okay. I’ll talk with you, with somebody, where you think it’s okay. It’s not trash talking.”
The undefeated Russian had more words for him in between the second and third rounds of the fight.
“I say hey, I’m going to smash your boy,” Numagomedov said. “After the second round he say ‘hey, finish this guy, finish this fight,’ I say this fight is already finished. You have to give me this real fight, you have to give me my title shot. Dana look at me like, “this guy’s crazy.’”
Nurmagomedov also implied he went with the Kimura finish so he wouldn’t have to keep bashing Johnson in the head.
“I talk with Michael Johnson because I respect Michael Johnson and I don’t want to hurt him,” Nurmagomedov said. “I talk about hey you have to give up, and I don’t want to smash your face, and when [he went for the Kimura], I go very slowly, I’m very careful because I don’t want to break his arm like Nogeuira-Mir, and I go very slowly and he taps.”