Khabib Nurmagomedov shares picks for the UFC’s top three lightweights

Islam Makhachev, Khabib Nurmagomedov
Image via @Khabib_nurmagomedov on Instagram

If anyone knows who the best fighters at 155-pounds are, it’s probably the guy who is the best of the bunch, and that’s Russia’s Khabib Nurmagomedov.

The undefeated 29-0 king of the UFC’s lightweight division has since called an end to his career after a dominant win over Justin Gaethje at UFC 254. And with that being the case, it’s left everyone wondering how things will unfold atop the division.

When it comes to the top three, “The Eagle” has some names in mind.

“Lightweight has always been very competitive,” Nurmagomedov told Match TV. “All major UFC events in 2020 were built around lightweight. First [it was] Conor [McGregor’s] comeback, then Gaethje against [Tony] Ferguson. Then [Dustin] Poirier’s comeback. Then my fight with Gaethje. This weight [division] has always been interesting and competitive.

“Top three [lightweight] fighters right now? Poirier, McGregor, and [Islam] Makhachev. He is not in the top-five yet, but those are the best fighters. My belt will be taken by the winner of Dustin and Conor.”

Unfortunately for the rising teammate of Nurmagomedov in Islam Makhachev, he has been out of action since September 2019. The pair would each pick up wins that night at UFC 242 with the 18-1 Makhachev extending his winning streak to six while Nurmagomedov defended his title against Dustin Poirier.

For Poirier, he most recently rebounded with a win vs. Dan Hooker after the two put on a fight of the year contender. Ultimately the performance earned “The Diamond” a massive rematch as he takes on Conor McGregor at UFC 257 on January 23. As mentioned by Nurmagomedov, he’s expecting the winner of the fight to end up competing for his yet to be vacated crown.

Despite committing to retirement, Khabib Nurmagomedov noted that he’s been in touch with UFC President Dana White and is aware of the promotion wanting him to fight again. Though they haven’t yet discussed why the belt isn’t vacant at this very moment.

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