Khabib Nurmagomedov, who now owns the UFC lightweight title, is a flawless 26-0 as a professional mixed martial artist. Given his incredible dominance in the lightweight division — and the fact that he’s struggled with the scale in the past — many members of the MMA community have wondered how he’d perform in the UFC welterweight division.
In the opinion of Colby Covington, who battles Rafael dos Anjos for interim welterweight gold in the co-main event of UFC 225 this June 9, Nurmagomedov would be wise to stay at lightweight. In fact, he thinks Nurmagomedov would be in some real trouble if he moved to welterweight.
“I think [Nurmagomedov’s skill] works for the little lightweight division, but that shit doesn’t fly at welterweight,” Covington told MMAjunkie Radio this week. “You’ve got a real All-American wrestler, not some sambo dude, so if he comes up to welterweight, he’s going to get his head dunked and balls put on his forehead just like the rest of them.”
Needless to say, Covington is not too impressed with Nurmagomedov — particularly after the Russian failed to finish part-time real estate agent Al Iaquinta in the last-minute main event of UFC 223.
“I don’t think he’s that impressive,” Covington said. “He couldn’t even finish a real estate agent. That’s fucking sad.”
Covington then explained that his main criticism of Nurmagomedov’s style is that he’s not well-rounded. The American says he realized this by reviewing video of Nurmagomedov’s win over dos Anjos.
“I watched the fight a couple of times,” he said. “[Nurmagomedov] just goes forward and looks for takedowns and pressure. He doesn’t have any striking power. He’s not a well-rounded fighter like myself. I can beat people on the feet; I can beat people on the ground. It doesn’t matter.
“Guys have a lot more to worry about when they’re fighting me than they do fighting Khabib. He’s just one-dimensional. I’m the most well-rounded fighter on the planet.”
What do you think of Colby Covington’s assessment of Khabib Nurmagomedov’s chances in the welterweight division?
This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 4/26/2018.