It is getting harder and harder to believe Dana White’s comments yesterday that no UFC Lightweights want to fight Khabib Nurmagomedov. Just moments ago, Jamie Varner tweeted that he would fight Khabib after his UFC 169 bout with Abel Trujillo, barring any injuries. Now, Michael Johnson has stepped into the fray, offering to fight Nurmagomedov as well.
— Michael Johnson (@FollowTheMenace) January 12, 2014
This all started with Gilbert Melendez and Khabib Nurmagomedov’s fight at UFC 170 falling through. The bout was never finalized, and the UFC began searching for a new opponent for Khabib. White supposedly stated that Nate Diaz turned down the fight with Khabib, a claim that Diaz vehemently denied. White also said that no UFC Lightweights wanted to fight Khabib.
Could White’s comments simply have been a brilliant tactic to get UFC Lightweights to offer to fight Khabib? Yesterday, the UFC supposedly had no opponent for Khabib, and today there are three potential opponents.
Fans need to recognize that Dana White is a promoter first, and he will definitely make comments in order to garner a reaction from fighters. Clearly White’s comments have stirred reaction from Varner, Johnson, and Diaz, and we should expect to see one of them fight Khabib in the near future.