Former UFC champion Khabib Nurmagomedov has said he’s happy to see Charles Oliveira hold the gold at 155 pounds.
After retiring from mixed martial arts last year, Khabib left the door open for one of many top lightweights to rise up and claim the belt. Last month, Charles Oliveira answered the call with a phenomenal comeback win over Michael Chandler in Houston.
During a recent media appearance, Khabib revealed why he’s happy that Oliveira was the one who came away with the strap.
“He deserves to be a lightweight champion,” Khabib said. “What does he have, eight wins in a row? And seven of those eight were finishes. Only the Ferguson fight went to decision. I think he deserves the belt – so many finishes and UFC records. It’d be sad if Chandler won, if he became champion after two UFC fights. It wouldn’t be right. Oliveira improved a lot, and he deserves to be champion. I’m really happy for him because when anyone reaches success you have to respect that. I think he deserves to be champion”
Quotes courtesy of MMA Junkie
Despite how some are trying to position it, this definitely doesn’t feel like Khabib is trying to talk down to Chandler or insult him. Instead, he just believes Oliveira has been on a greater journey to get to this point – and based on their UFC track records, he’s right.
Many want to see Nurmagomedov make his way back to the promotion at some point in the future but with Islam Makhachev on the horizon, that doesn’t seem particularly likely.
Do you think Khabib Nurmagomedov would ever return to the Ultimate Fighting Championship? If he does, would he beat Charles Oliveira in a fight? Let us know your thoughts on the lightweight title situation down in the comments, BJPENN Nation!