Undefeated UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov is already one of the best pound-for-pound fighters in the world. To cement himself as the pound-for-pound best fighter alive, however, he believes he needs to defeat three specific opponents.
Those opponents are Dustin Poirier, who he’ll meet at UFC 242 on September 7 in Abu Dhabi, his long-time rival Tony Ferguson, and former UFC welterweight and middleweight champion Georges St-Pierre.
Khabib Nurmagomedov named these three opponents at a UFC 242 press conference in London on Wednesday.
— UFC (@ufc) June 12, 2019
“I have to beat Dustin, I have to beat Tony Ferguson, and I have to beat GSP,” Nurmagomedov stated when asked what he needs to do to become the world’s top pound-for-pound fighter. “Then I can become pound-for-pound No.1 fighter. This is my opinion.”
As aforementioned, Khabib Nurmagomedov is scheduled to meet in the interim lightweight champion Dustin Poirier at UFC 242 this September. Poirier will enter this fight on five-fight win-streak, highlighted by triumphs over Eddie Alvarez, Justin Gaethje, Anthony Pettis and featherweight champ Max Holloway.
Tony Ferguson, meanwhile, has been scheduled to fight Nurmagomedov on four times previously to no avail. The American is currently on a ridiculous 12-fight win-streak. His latest win came at UFC 238 last weekend, when he defeated Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone by TKO, and reestablished himself as the top contender in the division.
Georges St-Pierre, finally, has long stood out as the preferred opponent of Khabib Nurmagomedov. Unfortunately for the Russian champion, the Canadian legend retired earlier this year. At present, there’s no reason to suspect he’ll ever return to the Octagon.
This article first appeared on BJPENN.COM on 6/12/2019.