When Khabib Nurmagomedov retired, some other Dagestanis came to the fore. First of all, it is Islam Makhachev whom Khabib’s father also saw as Khabib’s successor at the top of the lightweight category. However, there are more fighters coming and competing for the role of Khabib’s successor.
One of them is definitely Umar Nurmagomedov (14-0-0, 2-0 UFC). He is a 26-year-old fighter who performs in the bantam and in the lightweight category, and Umar is also Khabib's cousin. Like his retired cousin, Umar is also undefeated.
In his first two UFC appearances, he defeated Sergey Morozov and Brian Kelleher. On both occasions, he came to victory with "RNC" Morozova finished in the second round, and the experienced Kelleher in the first. This weekend at the UFC on ESPN 38 show, Umara faces a very dangerous opponent in the form of Nate Maness (14-1-0, 3-0 UFC).
Mannes is an American bantamweight fighter and has provided fairly good performances through his first three UFC appearances. He defeated Johnny Munoz Jr. by unanimous decision, then forced Luke Sanders to surrender in the second round of the fight, and knocked out Tony Gravely in the second round.
Umar Nurmagomedov will be a real test of his abilities, but it will not be easy for Umar either. The talented Nurmagomedov still believes it is time for opponents like this.
"If they give me top 15, I’m ready"
“I think I’m ready for these guys, and I want to push,” Nurmagomedov told MMA Junkie and other reporters at Wednesday’s UFC on ESPN 38 media day.
“If they give me top 15, I’m ready. I know this. I can compete with these guys. But I don’t know where they’ll put me after this fight”. Umar Nurmagomedov, like Khabib, bursts with self-confidence and believes he can beat anyone.
Despite this, Khabib and other coaches from the AKA hall must keep him sober. If he underestimates Manessa, it could cost him dearly, and Umar claims that he respects his opponent very much. “I think he’s good fighter,” Nurmagomedov said.
“He has good boxing, good grappling, good wrestling. We’ll see. He’s good fighter. I’m feeling it’s going to be a good fight.