UFC President Dana White believes Khabib Nurmagomedov will become the best pound-for-pound fighter on earth with a win at UFC 254.
Nurmagomedov, the undisputed UFC lightweight champion, is slated to defend his title against Justin Gaethje in the card’s main event. Heading into the matchup, the unbeaten Russian holds the No. 2 spot in the official UFC pound-for-pound rankings.
White believes he’ll move up to No. 1, supplanting former UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones, if he beats Gaethje.
“Khabib is looking down the barrel of not only the greatest to ever do it in this division, but listen, I think if he beats Justin on Saturday, he’s the No. 1 pound-for-pound fighter in the world and he’s on his way to GOAT status,” White said during the UFC 254 pre-fight press conference (via MMA Fighting).
White’s assertion that Nurmagomedov will surpass Jones in terms of pound-for-pound accomplishments will likely receive some blowback, but the UFC boss notes that thriving in the talent-packed lightweight division is no easy feat.
“You know what I think of Jon Jones and we always talk about what Jon’s accomplished in his career,” White explained. “Look at how many fights this guy has and he’s still undefeated, and this is a nasty, nasty weight division.”
White also praised Nurmagomedov for becoming one of the biggest stars in MMA at present.
“He’s one of the biggest stars in the sport,” White said. “Khabib’s videos have generated 222 million views. His content that features him, over 100 million video views just this year alone, just on Facebook. He’s broken records on Instagram. I could just rattle off numbers all day. He’s by far the No. 1 most played character in the video game globally. By a long shot.
“The numbers just go on and on. I could go on for days. The kid’s broken a lot of records.”
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