Khabib Nurmagomedov Says Anthony Pettis Is ‘Paper Champ,’ Demands Title Shot

Khabib Nurmagomedov wants a title shot and will do anything he can to get it, including making himself more accessible to American fans.

Nurmagomedov (22-0 MMA, 6-0 UFC), a Dagestan-born fighter, is working on his English and tries to tweet as much as he can while he recovers from a meniscus injury that forced him out of a match with Donald Cerrone at UFC 178.

“Now, I’m living in the U.S., and my language isn’t very good, but it’s OK,” he said. “I’m training hard every day. Please, (UFC executives) Dana White and Lorenzo Fertitta, give me my title shot. I deserve it.”

Despite his 6-0 record in the UFC, Nurmagomedov struggles to build the support that has earned other UFC fighters with lesser records a shot at the belt. But he thinks he has a good pitch for the UFC: Not only is he undefeated in the promotion, he’s undefeated overall.

“I like being undefeated, and if the UFC gives me a title shot, the UFC has next year an undefeated and undisputed lightweight champion,” Nurmagomedov said. “I’m 23-0. I think it’s very good for the UFC.”

While Dana White will decide who fights Pettis after the champion’s next title defense against Gilbert Melendez on December 6 at UFC 181, Nurmagomedov says it has to be him.

“It’s a sport and a business, too, and I respect everyone. But I don’t respect Anthony Pettis. He’s champ, but he’s not a true champ. He’s a paper champ, and he hasn’t defended his title in one-and-a-half years.

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