Nate Diaz Reportedly Turned Down Nurmagomedov Fight

Published on January 12th, 2014 12:42 am EST

According to UFC President Dana White, nobody wants to fight rising Lightweight star Khabib Nurmagomedov.

It was originally thought that Nurmagomedov and Gilbert Melendez would be squaring off at UFC 170. Melendez said that Nurmagomedov was an opponent who interested him, and Nurmagomedov seemed interested in the fight as well. However, at the end of the day, the fight didn't happen and the rumoured fight was scrapped.

After that fight fell apart, Nurmagomedov took to Twitter to petition the UFC for a fight against Nate Diaz. However, according to White, Diaz turned down that fight.

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It's not hard to see why some of the upper tier fighters in the Lightweight division would be hesitant to fight Nurmagomedov.

After all, Nurmagomedov possesses one of the longest undefeated streaks in mixed martial arts (21 straight wins and counting) and is skilled in many different disciplines (sambo, judo). Nurmagomedov fights a grinding style that has worked wonders over the likes of Pat Healy, Gleison Tibau and Kamal Shalorus.

Another big reason why names like Melendez and Diaz may be hesitant to fight Nurmagomedov is the fact that Nurmagomedov represents a high risk/low reward situation for each fighter. Nurmagomedov is not an especially well known name, but he is very capable of beating either Melendez or Diaz. I suspect that Melendez and Diaz both wish to have higher profile opponents for their next fights.

In the meantime, Nurmagomedov continues to look for another opponent, and the UFC continues to try and find one for him. It will be interesting to see who eventually takes up the Nurmagomedov challenge.


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