Heavyweight legend Fedor Emelianenko praised UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov but says “The Eagle” needs to work on his striking technique.
Emelianenko is regarded as the greatest Russian MMA fighter of all-time but in many ways, Nurmagomedov has taken the torch from “The Last Emperor” as the greatest Russian fighter on the planet right now. The two have the utmost respect for each other and both men have led to Russia becoming a hotbed for mixed martial arts around the globe.
In a new interview, Emelianenko says he is a big fan of Nurmagomedov and praised the UFC lightweight champ, but he also said that Nurmagomedov has holes in his game, namely in his striking technique.
Take a look below at what Emelianeko said about Nurmagomedov (via LowKing.pl).
“Khabib has found his style, wins by using his strengths. That’s good because he is a UFC champion and uses his strengths. In these elements he stands above his rivals,” Emelianenko said.
“However, Khabib must, of course, patch the gaps in its technique. For example, in the technique of punches and kicks. But he also does everything right. He also has time to polish these techniques to become even better.”
Anytime you hear praise from someone so highly-regarded like Emelianenko it’s good to hear, but his criticisms seem fair as well. Nurmagomedov is a fighter who dominates his opponents using his incredible wrestling skills though his striking skills can still get better just like Emelianenko said. Except for a surprising knockdown against Conor McGregor at UFC 229, Nurmagomedov hasn’t shown much with his striking in the UFC.
Perhaps after hearing Emelianenko tell him to work on his striking, we will see Nurmagomedov improve that aspect of his game. Think about how good Nurmagomedov is right now and he might become even better if he can work on the other aspects of his game.
Do you agree with what Fedor Emelianenko said about Khabib Nurmagomedov?
This article first appeared on BJPENN.com on 2/10/2020.