Khabib Nurmagomedov reveals his choice for second best lightweight fighter of all-time

By Chris Taylor - September 4, 2021

Khabib Nurmagomedov has shared his thoughts on which UFC fighter should be considered the second best lightweight of all-time.

Khabib Nurmagomedov, Conor McGregor

The UFC’s former lightweight kingpin, Nurmagomedov (29-0 MMA), finished his illustrious career with three straight title defenses against opponents Conor McGregor, Dustin Poirier and Justin Gaethje.

Khabib’s three consecutive UFC lightweight title defenses matched the previous promotional records held by Benson Henderson and our namesake BJ Penn.

Speaking recently at a press event overseas, Khabib Nurmagomedov was asked whom he considers to be the second best lightweight fighter of all-time.

“I think the impersonation of the lightweight division was BJ Penn for a long time,” Khabib answered. “I can explain… Despite many defeats (towards the end of his career), he won the lightweight title, defended it and also moved up to welterweight and won the belt there. Then he had lost to one of the best fighters ever, George St-Pierre. So for me, BJ Penn, I think we can put him there.”

BJ Penn

BJ Penn captured the UFC’s vacant lightweight championship by defeating Joe Stevenson by way of submission back in January of 2008. ‘The Prodigy’ would go on to defend the strap on three occasions scoring stoppage victories over Sean Sherk, Kenny Florian and Diego Sanchez.

As noted by Khabib Nurmagomedov, the Hawaiian fighter also captured the UFC’s welterweight title back at UFC 46, this after scoring a stunning submission win over longtime title holder Matt Hughes. BJ Penn never wound up defending that title as he made the move to K-1 for his next four fights.

In addition to Penn and Nurmagomedov, the UFC has featured the following 155lbs champions:

Jens Pulver – 2 title defenses

Sean Sherk – 1 title defense

Frankie Edgar – 2 title defenses (1 draw)

Benson Henderson – 3 title defenses

Anthony Pettis – 1 title defense

Rafael dos Anjos – 1 title defense

Eddie Alvarez – No UFC title defenses

Conor McGregor – No UFC title defenses

Charles Oliveira – No UFC title defenses to date

Do you agree with Khabib Nurmagomedov that BJ Penn should be considered the second greatest lightweight fighter of all-time? Share your thoughts in the comment section PENN Nation!