Khabib Nurmagomedov turned coach to place the light-weight division on discover at UFC 259.
The UFC’s light-weight champion introduced his retirement final year however nonetheless holds the title, a lot to the frustration of his rivals.
But he has made the segue into cornering as he oversaw Islam Makhachev’s newest spectacular victory within the cage.
He dominated Drew Dober earlier than submitting his rival within the third spherical to increase his report to 19-1.
And he instantly known as on the UFC to match him with a top-five light-weight.
“Years ago, I deserved someone from top-five,” Makhachev mentioned.
“Now I cannot be quiet because I have a seven-win streak now, please I need some tough guy. Tony Ferguson, please, I’ll be ready.
“I’ll be prepared for anybody, please.”
Nurmagomedov has yet to formally give up his belt – and the UFC has no plans to strip him.
He is expected to meet president Dana White in Las Vegas this weekend but White intends to hold an unofficial tournament before making a decision on his champion.
That will include Conor McGregor who is expected to take on Dustin Poirier for a third time this summer.
The Irishman lost the rival’s rematch in January when he was knocked out in the second round, almost seven years after doing the same to Poirier.
The 155lb division additionally boasts contenders together with Justin Gaethje, Charles Oliveira and Michael Chandler – and Makhachev is assured he belongs with the most effective.
“My wrestling is much better than everybody,” he added. “I think everybody knows this but now I can show everyone my wrestling skills.
“For my subsequent one I wish to select Tony Ferguson as a result of my staff has a really lengthy state of affairs with him, Khabib cancelled his battle with him loads of instances and a few instances Tony cancelled the battle.
“I want to make him shut up because he keeps talking and I want to make him shut up.
“Everyone believed in my victory however they instructed me that if I wished a straightforward battle simply to take him down.
“It wasn’t easy to finish him but I had to show my skills; I believe I will be champion at the beginning of 2022.”