UFC lightweight champ Khabib Nurmagomedov looks more and more unbeatable every time he fights — that includes his recent submission victory over Dustin Poirier. That being said, former UFC lightweight champion and current ONE Championship star Eddie Alvarez believes Nurmagomedov can be beaten. It will just take a fighter with the right style to pull it off.
Alvarez believes he has that style.
“I think it’s going to take a certain style, and if you don’t have that style, there’s a certain style you have to implement to beat him, and I feel like I can implement that style the best in this division, and I don’t know who else could,” Alvarez told MMA Junkie. “When I think about the other competition and the top 10 in the UFC, and the other guys around, I don’t know if they’re able to implement the type of fight that you have to do to beat Khabib.”
So what exactly is the key to beating Khabib Nurmagomedov? According to Alvarez, it’ll take a performance not unlike his victory over Michael Chandler.
“The most I can say is I’ve done it before,” Alvarez said. “If you watch the second Michael Chandler fight, and you watch a fight like that where you have a guy who just throws a big punch, tries to run you to the cage, tries to rip you to the ground, and pound you out on the ground, it’s like that’s the style you have to implement on a guy like that to beat him. You can’t stand in front of him. You’ve got to be able to move laterally. You’ve got to be able to shut down his wrestling, and when you do get into wrestling exchanges, you can’t be dominated. You’ve got to have another wrestler who can match his wrestling.”
Interestingly, Alvarez doesn’t actually buy Khabib Nurmagomedov as a completely undefeated fighter. He reminds that the reigning champ won a very controversial decision against Gleison Tibau in 2012 — a decision many fans should feel should have gone the other way.
“I don’t necessarily see Khabib as undefeated,” Alvarez said. “I think Gleison Tibau beat Khabib. When I watch that fight back, I feel like Gleison beat him, so there is a style out there, and there is a way to beat him, but right now he’s the champ.”
What do you think of this assessment from Eddie Alvarez?
This article first appeared on BJPENN.COM on 9/19/2019.