Nurmagomedov (15-2) — who is not related to former UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov — is one of the most intriguing young prospects in the promotion’s 135-pound division. After losing a year and a half of activity due to visa issues and COVID-related problems, the Russian stormed back onto the scene this past weekend at UFC 270.
On Jan. 22, the unranked 29-year-old entered the Octagon to face his stiffest test yet in bantamweight rankings stalwart in Cody Stamann (19-5). Yet, despite facing a foe with far more Octagon experience than him, Nurmagomedov entered the fight as a notable favorite. On fight night he proved the oddsmakers right by out grappling a skilled wrestler and making Stamann tap out for only the second time in his 24 fight career. And he did it all in 47-seconds.
Said Nurmagomedov says Sean O’Malley is ducking him
After such an impressive showing, Nurmagomedov’s stock is at a high after winning four of five fights in the UFC, and he is deserving of some ranked competition next. However, don’t expect that opponent to be twelfth-ranked bantamweight Sean O’Malley (15-1). In a Thursday night post on his Twitter account, the WFCA and ACB veteran tossed some shade at “Sugar” by claiming the multi-color-haired star has twice been offered a fight against him and ignored those overtures from the UFC.
“Hey, @sugarseanmma UFC offer you to me 2 times, your chicken a** never responded run. What we’re gonna do now? I wanna kill your hype,” Nurmagomedov wrote.
Many fans have hoped to see O’Malley face a high-level grappler inside the Octagon. And several of them, including Stamann and Merab Dvalishvili have called for a fight against him. However, that has yet to happen and O’Malley recently suggested fights with Dominick Cruz, Pedro Munhoz, or Adrian Yanez could be next. None of those fighters use a heavy grappling attack in their bouts.
Would an O’Malley vs Nurmagomedov fight interest you?