It has been barely a day since MMA world lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov shocked the world with his sudden announcement to retire from the sport.
Millions of his fans are still coming to terms with the fact that they won’t get to see the Russian in action again.
Khabib, who was fighting for the first time since the death of his father and coach Abdulmanap in July, won by a second-round technical knockout.
“I want to stay humble but I have to talk because your guy talks too much,” said Nurmagomedov, while speaking to fans at the Madison Square Garden.
“You know what’s interesting? I understand [the] crazy power of [the] UFC PR machine. Your guy, beginning of the year he tap like chicken [to Nate Diaz at UFC 196], end of the year he fight for the title. Crazy!
“You know this is true, this is not trash talking. … I want to fight with your chicken because this is No. 1 easy fight in lightweight division.”
People will stop talking about Conor
“Conor has to be careful because I’m going to smash Tony Ferguson and after I’m going to smash Conor McGregor,” Nurmagomedov said.
“I think after this one, people will begin to forget about this guy. But now, everybody talks about him, but it’s okay. For me, it’s okay.”
“I don’t give a [expletive] about Conor! I think about only belt. When I come to the UFC, I never thought about Conor, ‘Oh I want to fight with him, make money,’ something like this. I think about only the belt.
“I think I beat Tony Ferguson, after Conor says he doesn’t want to defend his title because he never defends his title and I’ll fight with another tough contender. I don’t know who, maybe [Michael] Chiesa or [Edson] Barboza, somebody like this.”
‘Shut up and train’
When former Interim UFC Lightweight Champion Tony Ferguson of America tweeted that he was “Gonna Outwork You For All Five Rounds… I’m Coming After You @TeamKhabib”, Nurmagomedov told him to “shut up and train”!
‘Gonna smash your boy’
“Hey, be careful. I’m gonna smash your boy,” Nurmagomedov told Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) President Dana White between rounds.
“Just get through this first,” White shot back.
Turning to Michael Johnson, he said: “You have to give up. I need to fight for the title. You know this. I deserve it.”
The ‘Floyd Mayweather’ of MMA
“I don’t care about him, I only want to fight for the title. This is what I want. I don’t care about Conor or Floyd Mayweather. Floyd Mayweather is one of the greatest boxers, but I think I am the Floyd Mayweather of MMA.
“I am 24-0, I can be 26-0 — 10-0 in the UFC — undefeated and undisputed UFC lightweight champion. I want to become the greatest lightweight ever. This is what I want.”
‘I respect Michael Johnson’
“I talk with Michael Johnson because I respect Michael Johnson and I don’t want to hurt him.
“I talk about hey you have to give up, and I don’t want to smash your face, and when [he went for the Kimura], I go very slowly, I’m very careful because I don’t want to break his arm like Nogeuira-Mir, and I go very slowly and he taps.”
‘I have power in Russia’
“After this fight I have to fight for the title. UFC thinks Conor has power? Irish people only like 6 million people. I am from Russia. 150 million people. If UFC don’t give me the title fight after this fight, I’m going to show how I have power in Russia. I know if I don’t fight for the title next fight, UFC will never, ever go to Russia.”
‘Will continue to train and beat all Americans’
“To go to America and fight Russian fighters is not so nice. Because there are so many foreign fighters who can and must be beaten. Especially the Americans,” Nurmagomedov said, laughing.
“I want that belt. I want to punish the champion because he has long defended the belt. This all lined up. Myself, Cerrone, Myles Jury, Benson Henderson.
“I am now recovering from injury. In two months I will start to train 100%, both wrestling and everything else. Pettis will defend his title on December 6, and maybe after the bout I will be declared the next challenger.
“If I am not declared, I will not be offended. I will continue to train and beat all Americans. For their sanctions.”
‘I never use MMA to make money’
“I care about the belt. I want to finish this fight and fight for the title. I don’t care who has the title, who wins (between Alvarez and McGregor). I don’t care about money.
“I know a lot of fighters fight for the money, but money is not everything for me. I know money is very important for life, but I have money. I never use MMA to make money. MMA for me is about my life, about my blood and about everything I do all my life. Money, I can make money with other stuff. I have money. I have everything. I need the belt.”
‘I’m really cowboy. I’m mountain guy’
“It’s just funny. Cowboy is fake. I don’t think so he’s really cowboy, I think he’s fake. He all the time drink, drunk. I don’t think so he’s really cowboy. I’m really cowboy. I’m mountain guy.
“I’m training camp all my life, I’m wrestling with the bears. I’m really cowboy. He’s drunk guy. I am Dagestan cowboy, 100-percent.”