Undefeated mixed martial arts phenom Khabib Nurmagomedov earned the undisputed UFC lightweight title back at UFC 223. That being said, the moment did not come without its controversy. Now mixed martial arts legend Fedor Emelianenko has come forward with his thoughts on the matter.
“The Eagle” was initially set to fight UFC interim lightweight champion Tony Ferguson at UFC 223. Despite Ferguson’s position as interim champion, the fighters were set to face off for the undisputed title.
With champion Conor McGregor having been inactive inside the octagon since 2016, the promotion elected to strip the fighter of his title so that “El Cucuy” and Nurmagomedov could battle it out for the belt.
However, Ferguson injured himself just six days before the fight. Consequently, Nurmagomedov was scheduled for a short notice fight against UFC featherweight champion Max Holloway.
After Holloway was refused the chance to finish his weight cut by the New York State Athletic Commission, Nurmagomedov was put on a severely short notice fight against Al Iaquinta for UFC 223.
Despite Iaquinta not having even been ranked in the top ten of the division at the time of the fight, the UFC elected to strip Ferguson of his title as well so that Nurmagomedov could still compete for the belt.
The NYSAC would not event permit Iaquinta to fight for the title due to his low ranking. Still, the UFC persevered with their plan.
In the end, Nurmagomedov earned a dominant unanimous decision victory over his opponent for the UFC lightweight title. Speaking on the latest edition of The MMA Hour, Fedor Emelianenko offered his thoughts on the Dagestani native’s performance.
“Of course, I’m very glad that Khabib became UFC champion. They finally gave him the title fight, long overdue. They fiddled with his opponent though, but Khabib deserved the title fight for a long time.”