Khabib Nurmagomedov pleaded with Michael Johnson before he submitted the American
Khabib Nurmagomedov made light work lightweight contender Michael Johnson last night at UFC 205 in New York City and sent out a statement to the newly crowned 155lbs champion, Conor McGregor.
The Russian defeated the American via submission, but only after Johnson had endured some serious punishment on the canvas and sustained a series of heavy shots to the head and body.
Speaking after the fight, a reporter asked Nurmagomedov if he had told Johnson to give up during the bout when he had mounted the American.
The 28-year-old admitted that he told Johnson to give up during the fight and that he didn't want to inflict any further damage.
"I told him 'Hey, I have to fight for the title, you know this'", he said after the fight.
"I told him 'I don't want to smash your face, I already beat you, you have to give up.'
"He kept fighting. He didn't say anything back, he just kept fighting. He punched me a couple of times. I want to give him respect. He came out and he took this fight. I gave him 15 very hard punches.
"He's a great guy and a great fighter with a lot of experience."
Nurmagomedov wasted little time in calling out "chicken" McGregor and has staked his claim for a shot at the lightweight belt with a recent impressive victory over Darrell Horcher back in April as well as Johnson.
"I want to stay humble but I have to talk because your guys talk too much," he told Joe Rogan after last night's victory. "I understand how crazy powerful the UFC PR machine is.
"Your guy [McGregor] , at the beginning of the year tapped like a chicken [to Nate Diaz]. At the end of the year, he fights for the title - crazy. You know, guys, this is true. This is not trash-talking.
"Ireland only has six million people, Russia has 150 million. I want to fight your chicken! This is number one easy fight in the lightweight division."