Ex UFC Fighter Reveals Truth About Facing Khabib Nurmagomedov on 9- Day Notice and Texting Him Post-Fight- “Never Really Got a Rapport”

Published 12/04/2023, 2:41 PM EST

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Khabib Nurmagomedov is one of the greatest fighters of all time. Many feel his retirement was a bit premature, preventing him from cementing his legacy as the GOAT. But more importantly, Nurmagomedov is a good person who lives by his values.

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Known for his humility, discipline, and respectfulness even against opponents, the Dagestani is one of the most well-regarded fighters in UFC history. In a recent interview, one of his former opponents spoke about what he thinks of ‘The Eagle’ as a person and a fighter. While many are known to bad-mouth or talk trash about their opponents, this fighter had something different to share.

Former opponent gives honest opinion on Khabib Nurmagomedov

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Darrel Horcher had fought Nurmagomedov at the UFC on Fox 19 on only nine days’ notice after Tony Ferguson pulled out of the bout. On his appearance on James Lynch’s YouTube channel, the MMA journalist asked Horcher what his experiences were with fighting Khabib Nurmagomedov and what he thought about the former lightweight champion.

Horcher said that he was honored to have fought Nurmagomedov, who was one of the nicest guys he had ever met. He revealed that they had tried to keep in touch with each other even after their fight, texting back and forth, but their thoughts fizzled out eventually.

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“It was an honor [fighting Khabib Nurmagomedov]. He was one of the nicest fighters I’ve ever gotten. It was an honor to be there with him and you know him and I would message back and forth a little bit after the fight. Obviously we never really got a rapport going,” the former UFC lightweight told Lynch in the interview.

Although the Chicago native lost the bout to Nurmagomedov in two rounds, he felt he gave a good showing given that he took the fight on such short notice. “But it was nice it was and I can stack myself up knowing that you know I took that on nine days’ notice,” he added. He also made a surprising claim about whether he could have beaten Nurmagomedov if one thing went differently for him.

Horcher reveals he cut 30 pounds in a week to fight Nurmagomedov

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Horcher reminded Lynch that he had fought Nurmagomedov on such short notice and he had to cut thirty pounds in seven days, which undoubtedly would have taken a toll on his body. He thought if he could have gone into that bout with a full camp, he might have given the Dagestani a better contest based on the skill set he possesses.

“I cut 30 pounds in seven days, [I wonder] what could I have done back then if I had a camp. I think that [would have] went a little better for me. I’m not saying I would’ve beat him because he was by all means the greatest fighter of all time at lightweight, at least. But it definitely showed my skill set was right there, [it]  just didn’t work out,” he added.

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However, the former UFC lightweight clarified he was not saying he would have defeated Nurmagomedov had he gone through a full camp. But what do you think? Could’ve Horcher defeated ‘The Eagle’ if he would’ve had more time? Let us know in the comments.

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Written by:

Kanishk Thakur

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One take at a time

Hi, I am Kanishk and I am a UFC Writer at EssentiallySports. I love telling the stories of these magnificent fighters and this wildly unpredictable sport that is so frustrating and yet so joyous at the same time. I never really used to watch MMA, thinking it too crude or brutal a sport to deserve respect.
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Edited by:

Abhishek Kumar Das

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