Las Vegas, NV — After UFC Vegas 67, much of the talk (about the fights themselves, at least) was about Umar Nurmagomedov.
The cousin of lightweight Hall of Famer Khabib Nurmagomedov improved to 16-0 with a stunning one-punch knockout of Raoni Barcelos. It’s an outcome that surprised even Nurmagomedov himself, whose nickname, “Young Eagle,” is a nod to his cousin.
“I didn’t train this, like single [punch KO], but sometimes your body’s using your skills, you understand? That’s why you have to train so many times, more than everybody,” Nurmagomedov told media outlets including Cageside Press following the fight. “That’s when you will be champion.”
Nurmagomedov had expected a three-round fight, not a one-punch knockout. If it were to end early, he anticipated a submission win.
Umar had said ahead of UFC Vegas 67 that he’d run into trouble finding opponents willing to fight him. That will likely become even more of an issue moving forward, now that he’s shown to be a danger both in the wrestling department, and on the feet.
When it comes to the rest of the roster, “these guys know our team, Khabib [Nurmagomedov], Islam [Makhachev], Usman [Nurmagomedov], are different guys. We’re improving, we’re good, and they look at us like, dangerous,” suggested Nurmagomedov. “This one, I saw it. Because nobody don’t take fight with me in the top 15. Even this guy Ricky Simon. He say ‘ hey, who are you,’ [stuff] like this. I’m here Ricky Simon. Where are you? I will be champion, you will stay number 8.”
So while he has a date in mind, Umar Nurmagomedov does not want to fight Simon, despite the UFC’s attempt to match them up previosuly. “No, I don’t want to fight with him. I have a different name, it will be in March I hope, March 4. I don’t want to fight with him, because of when I asked him to fight with me, he say ‘oh who are you.’ I will show you who I am.”
As for that different name, it’s apparently “Anybody. Anybody, I don’t care. But not this guy. I don’t want to give him a chance.”
Asked when he thinks he’ll become UFC bantamweight champion, given the turmoil in the weight class, Nurmagomedov said “I think 2024, I will be champion. For sure. I will be champion.”
Nurmagomedov also confirmed he had spoken with cousin Khabib, who was not in his corner on Saturday, following the bout.
“Yes, I already talked with him. He was with my father, my uncles. They watched the fight together. They already congratulated me.”
Watch the full UFC Vegas 67 post-fight media appearance by Umar Nurmagomedov above.