Conor McGregor faces new Khabib Nurmagomedov threat after UFC 259 masterclass

Khabib Nurmagomedov turned coach to put the lightweight division on notice at UFC 259.

The UFC's lightweight champion announced his retirement last year but still holds the title, much to the frustration of his rivals.

But he has made the segue into cornering as he oversaw Islam Makhachev's latest impressive victory in the cage.

He dominated Drew Dober before submitting his rival in the third round to extend his record to 19-1.

And he immediately called on the UFC to match him with a top-five lightweight.

"Years ago, I deserved someone from top-five," Makhachev said.

"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 ready for anyone, 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 also boasts contenders including Justin Gaethje, Charles Oliveira and Michael Chandler – and Makhachev is confident he belongs with the best.

"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 next one I want to choose Tony Ferguson because my team has a very long situation with him, Khabib cancelled his fight with him a lot of times and a couple of times Tony cancelled the fight.

"I want to make him shut up because he keeps talking and I want to make him shut up.

"Everyone believed in my victory but they told me that if I wanted an easy fight just 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."

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