Conor McGregor's potential lightweight opponent told fighter to 'give up' during UFC 205 bout

Khabib Nurmagomedov pleaded with Michael Johnson before he submitted the American

Khabib Nurmagomedov

Image: Julio Cortez AP/Press Association Images

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."


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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."