UFC lightweight champion Eddie Alvarez recently delivered a message to No. 1 ranked contender Khabib Nurmagomedov. That message? You’re are going to have to wait in line.
Appearing at a question and answer session ahead of UFC 201, Alvarez was asked why he didn’t seem to anxious to fight the man the rankings suggest he should fight.
“I fought every top guy. When I came to the UFC and I was ranked number 10, I fought all the guys in front of me,” said Alvarez. “I didn’t fight number 30, number 25, number 40, number 50 and then say ‘I want a title shot.’”
After implying that Nurmagomedov had a padded record, Alvarez made things a little more plain to the man that asked why he wouldn’t fight Nurmagomedov.
“I fight the best, he fights the rest,” said Alvarez. “That’s how it goes.”
As for who Alvarez would like to fight, he said his preferences would be UFC lightweight champion Conor McGregor, Nate Diaz and former UFC welterweight champion Georges St-Pierre.
Nurmagomedov did not react well to Alvarez denying him a title fight, taking to Instagram to write a long response to the champ where he tried to set the record straight and also place Alvarez on his “blacklist.”
Alvarez won the title on July 7 when he earned a first round TKO win over Rafael dos Anjos, a man that Nurmagomedov defeated by unanimous decision in 2014, one year before Dos Anjos claimed the UFC title.
At this point there is no indication as to who Alvarez will face in his first title defense.