Merab Dvalishvili explains why linking Umar Nurmagomedov to UFC title shot is ‘very disrespectful’

Merab Dvalishvili doesn’t think Umar Nurmagomedov deserves to be in the UFC bantamweight title picture just yet.

Nurmagomedov (17-0 MMA, 5-0 UFC) called for his previously scrapped booking with Cory Sandhagen to be rescheduled after defeating newcomer Bekzat Almakhan at UFC Fight Night 238 earlier this month.

Dvalishvili (17-4 MMA, 10-2 UFC), who’s a riding a 10-fight winning streak, would have rather seen Nurmagomedov climb the ladder like he had to. He thinks it’s way too early for Nurmagomedov to be in those title conversations.

“There is a guy from Dagestan, he’s a good fighter, but he fight nobody,” Dvalishvili told MMA Junkie. “He fought somebody from debut, and now he wants to fight for the belt. It’s not how it works. I think it’s very disrespectful. There are other guys who have a long winning streak, and he should fight them.

“And then fight somebody in the top 10, then top five, and then belt. You fight nobody, and now you want to fight for the belt? He’s a good guy, I like him, I respect him, but he’s talking trash about myself, talking trash to everybody. He’s calling top guys. He’s a good fighter, but come on, bro. You got to fight somebody good.”

Dvalishvili was dubbed as No. 1 contender after defeating former two-division champion Henry Cejudo at UFC 298. Nurmagomedov is undefeated, but Dvalishvili says it’s been tough to gauge how good he really is.

“Who knows if you’re a good fighter or no? You haven’t been tested yet,” Dvalishvili continued. “You fought a debut guy. Come on.”

Story originally appeared on MMA Junkie