Khabib Nurmagomedov calls out Nate Diaz
"I respect all of the fighters, no matter who it is. Everyone trains daily with a goal of becoming a UFC lightweight champion. I am well prepared for this fight and if he wants to keep it on the feet he will get a good fight. [Experience] does not matter to me. Every fight you learn something new and whoever is ready physically and mentally will win the fight. Maybe my opponent thinks that I may be under pressure since I am fighting in his homeland. If it mattered to me I would have not taken the fight. I know it will be God's will whether I win or lose. There is always talk of who is a better fighter and which style is better. There are a lot of fighters with different styles and I just focus on training hard for the fight and show results. God willing, I win this fight and then I want to fight Nate Diaz next in San Jose on April 20. First I need to beat Tavares." - Khabib Nurmagomedov via UFC
Nurmagomedov (18-0) made his highly anticipated UFC debut at UFC on FX: Guillard vs. Miller
against lightweight veteran Kamal Shalorus
. The young Russian's wild striking badly rocked Shalorus in the first round, but Nurmagomedov was unable to put the Iranian with his striking.
Instead, the highly trained sambo practitioner utilized his superior wrestling to dominate Shalorus on the ground, and eventually locked in a tight rear naked choke which forced the tap. After his impressive debut, Nurmagomedov was matched up against highly regarded Brazilian lightweight Gleison Tibau
After an action packed back-and-forth battle, the Russian earned a unanimous decision victory as he was able to consistently outstrike the Brazilian.
Heading into his upcoming fight against Tavares, Nurmagomedov spent half of his time training at American Kickboxing Academy and the other half with the national Russian Olympic team.
He'll square off against Tavares this Saturday on UFC on FX 7 inside the Ibirapuera Arena in São Paulo, Brazil.