At UFC 223 Khabib Nurmagomedov proved you can have Conor McGregor throw a hand truck at you and still end up a champion. He beat a stubborn but overmatched Al Iaquinta by unanimous decision. Now Nurmagomedov is undefeated and holding—according to Dana White—the only lightweight belt in the UFC.
The workmanlike match, thoroughly dominated by Nurmagomedov, wasn't nearly as dramatic as the preceding week. The week, of course, was highlighted by Conor McGregor and his crew going bananas on video, attacking a bus carrying Nurmagomedov and other fighters with pretty much anything they could find.
Speaking to the press after the match, Nurmagomedov complimented Iaquinta then went after McGregor. "Al Iaquinta is the real gangster," he said, "This is not about chicken."
"Where is Conor?" asked Nurmagomedov, "He's going to fight a bus? I want to fight real guys."
Nurmagomedov, a.k.a. "The Eagle," hasn't been too bothered by the McGregor Bus Massacre of '18. He's looking past that to the practical side: "We have to finish this beef, chicken or something like this,” he told the media at a post-fight press conference. “He have to stop eating Burger Kings. You want to fight? Come."
Nurmagomedov seemed to warm up to tweaking McGregor, hard. "I told you guys, I’m going to make him humble. I’m going to change his game. Now only one champion. No more fake champions, no more champion who never defend his title or something like this. Now UFC has champion, and this champion wants to defend his title."
Nurmagomedov addressed McGregor directly. "You want to fight?" he said "Come here. Inside the cage? Come. Outside the cage? Come. Let me know without camera, without like all this media."
Dana White put the brakes on the idea of a Nurmagomedov-McGregor match in the near future. He said that as soon as McGregor deals with "his legal, uh, mess that he's got going on, we'll figure out if and what's next."
Yeah, good luck with that.