Following his submission win over Dustin Poirier in the main event of UFC 242, UFC president Dana White believes Khabib Nurmagomedov is closing in on GOAT status in MMA.
The UFC bossman made these comments to reporters during the event’s post-fight press conference. According to White, Nurmagomedov is a special, one-of-a-kind talent.
“Khabib is pretty special,” White said (h/t MMAjunkie.com). “I think he’s a couple fights away from potential GOAT status. To go undefeated for this long, for this many fights, especially in a division that’s that stacked, he’s looking down the barrel of a pretty special career.”
Nurmagomedov improved his incredible record in MMA to 28-0 following his stoppage win over Poirier. He has never lost a fight since starting his pro MMA career back in 2008, and has a perfect 12-0 record while fighting inside the UFC’s Octagon.
At this point, it’s hard to deny White’s claims that Nurmagomedov might be the best ever. He has been utterly dominant in his UFC career and thus far. Up next is a fight against Tony Ferguson, who is also on a 12-fight win streak. Should Nurmagomedov defeat Ferguson, it’d be hard to deny his spot as the greatest lightweight of all time.
When it comes to the GOAT talk in MMA, most pundits would point to Jon Jones, Georges St-Pierre, Anderson Silva, Demetrious Johnson and Fedor Emelianenko at the top of the list. But if Nurmagomedov keeps winning you would have to include him with those names on the list.
For his part, Nurmagomedov didn’t go so far as to anoint himself as the GOAT, but he did say he wants to be called the No. 1 pound-for-pound fighter in the sport.
“Give me some respect,” Nurmagomedov said. “Put me the No. 1 pound-for-pound fighter next week, because I think I deserve this. Because I dominate, with all my opponents. I’m undefeated. I think I deserve some respect.”
Do you agree with Dana White and believe that Khabib Nurmagomedov is closing in on GOAT status in MMA?
This article first appeared on BJPENN.COM on 9/9/2019.