Chael Sonnen believes that the winner of the upcoming lightweight title fight between champ Khabib Nurmagomedov and challenger Tony Ferguson will stand out as the best fighter in the lightweight division’s history.
Sonnen gave his take on the matchup in a recent interview with Drake Riggs.
“It’s very hard to say that [the winner] wouldn’t be,” Sonnen said when asked if the victor of the fight will be the lightweight GOAT. “Khabib probably has that claim already, particularly if you narrow it down to lightweight. If you were to just say the greatest ever, Khabib still has an argument, but I don’t know if he would win it. When you’re 28-0 in any division, you claim that division, particularly when you’re the world champion, and he already got some heavy lifting out of the way on the way to the title. You go back and look at the names he beat… 10-8 rounds against guys. Two or three 10-8 rounds against [Edson] Barboza, just as an example. I mean, this guy is a hammer.”
“But you are talking about Tony Ferguson,” Sonnen continued. “That’s whole ‘nother animal. He’ll attack you from the back, he’ll attack you on the walkout. You don’t know what Tony Ferguson’s going to do. I would never count him out. I think that your math is right. Whoever wins that fight is the best ever.”
Chael Sonnen then offered his thoughts on this Nurmagomedov vs. Ferguson matchup could unfold.
“It’s very hard to pick against Khabib with what you’ve seen,” Sonnen said. “And I must also share with you that I have a bias toward Tony because we are former teammates. I really do like Tony’s chances going into this, and I like them more and more as the fight gets closer. I think the Xs and Os are going to play out a bit. I’d like to hear who Tony is training with but also who’s doing the training. He went on Ariel Helwani’s show and made some comment about ‘we’re interviewing guy right now.’ Wait a minute. We don’t have a coach yet? Training partners? But you don’t know, Tony’s having fun out there half the time. I do think as that gets a little closer, it’ll get a little more exciting, but I think it’s very competitive, I can tell you that.”
What do you think of these comments from Chael Sonnen? Do you agree that the Khabib Nurmagomedov vs. Tony Ferguson winner should be considered the lightweight GOAT?
This article first appeared on BJPENN.com on 12/27/2019.