Some wondered if the rust of fighting just once in two years would hurt Khabib Nurmagomedov.
The top lightweight contender remained that way – and undefeated – with a victory over Michael Johnson Saturday night at UFC 205. After beating on Johnson for two rounds, he ended it in the third with his first submission win since 2012.
“I want to stay humble, but I have to talk,” he said. “I understand how crazy power the UFC PR machine is.”
Nurmagomedov (24-0) returned from a two-year layoff due to injuries in April with a second round stoppage of Darrell Horcher. He was scheduled to meet Tony Ferguson that night, but Ferguson was forced out.
“The Eagle” has also bested the likes of former champion Rafael dos Anjos, Pat Healy and Abel Trujillo during his run. With the win, he also became the seventh fighter in UFC history to win his first eight fights.
“Nobody catch me,” he said. “Michael Johnson thank you for everything.”