Abubakar Nurmagomedov will face fellow UFC newcomer Jared Gooden in his second fight for the promotion at UFC 260, when he will hope to avoid the kind of farcical finish that he mocked Aljamain Sterling for at the weekend.
In a clash of two experienced welterweights looking to avenge debut defeats in their UFC careers, Russian Nurmagomedov will seek a 16th win in his 20th professional fight on the undercard of the event headlined by Stipe Miocic and Francis Ngannou in Las Vegas on March 27.
Nurmagomedov will be fighting for the first time since his first-round defeat to David Zawada at UFC Fight Night in Moscow in November 2019, when a submission by triangle choke ended his night prematurely.
That is former amateur National Fighting Championship title holder Gooden’s favored grappling technique, which could give the 27-year-old confidence when he looks to bounce back from a decision defeat to veteran Alan Jouban last November.
Lightweight champion Khabib described how “everything was going to plan” for Abubakar on Tuesday, posting a photo of the pair together alongside another of his fighting cousins, Usman, and trainer Javier Mendez.
“The Eagle” described Abubakar and Usman as “next in line”, and Abubakar shared a photo of himself embracing the retired great and his manager, Ali Abdelaziz, at a table last week, writing: “Now is good.”
Abubakar took an entertaining swipe at UFC bantamweight champion Aljamain Sterling following his bizarre win over Petr Yan at UFC 259 on Saturday.
Let’s make donation for Aljo and send him to Hollywood casting #ufc259
— AbubakarNurmagomedov (@NurmagomedovMMA) March 7, 2021
Having watched his countryman dominate the fight before suffering a disqualification after being adjudged to have landed an illegal knee on a ground Sterling, Abubakar accused Sterling of theatrically exaggerating his injury as he tried to resume the scrap and was attended to by doctors.
“Let’s make a donation for Aljo and send him to Hollywood casting,” Nurmagomedov wrote on Twitter, watching the fight being called off as a result of the stricken Sterling being unable to continue.
Nurmagomedov’s joke received a mixed reaction, with some fans laughing and others attempting to mock him over his loss to Zawada.