Khabib Nurmagomedov shares his admiration for UFC lightweight champion Charles Oliveira

Charlie Olives

Khabib Nurmagomedov is widely considered to be one of the greatest fighters in UFC history - just ask Dana White. 

'The Eagle' is one of the UFC president's favourite fighters of all time, he barely put a foot wrong in the octagon and is also lauded for his abilities as a wrestler, which allowed him to achieve such a high degree of dominance in mixed martial arts.

In fact, his striking is sometimes ignored because of his wrestling-based style of unrelenting pressure, something he shares with current UFC lightweight champion, Charles 'Do Bronx' Oliveira. 

"Charles Oliveira is a very worthy champion," Nurmagomedov said to Russian reporter Igor Lazorin (via Instagram), shortly after Oliveira's win in Houston, Texas.

While Oliveira (31-8, 1 NC) is most renowned for his ability to submit opponents at any given opportunity, the Brazilian stopped Chandler with strikes in the second round in the main event of UFC 262 at the Toyota Center to claim the vacant lightweight title.

It's an exciting time to be a UFC fan after a period of stagnation at the top of the lightweight division and Nurmagomedov, 32, had nothing but praise for his successor. 

"He seems to have eight wins in a row.

"So many finishes. As I remember, only against Tony Ferguson he had a full fight.

"I think Oliveira is a very worthy champion. Many finishes, many records in the UFC."

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However, Nurmagomedov (29-0) wasn't quite so complimentary about former Bellator lightweight champion 'Iron Mike' Chandler, who recently called him out after he knocked out Dan Hooker at UFC 257 in January.

"It would be a shame if Michael Chandler won," he added. "Two fights in the UFC and already champion - that would be somehow wrong.

"And Charles Oliveira has progressed very much.

"This is a worthy champion. I’m glad for him."

Khabib

And despite admitting his respect for Oliveira, he predicts his reign at the top of the division will be short-lived, as he believes his teammate Islam Makhachev is his heir-in-waiting to ascend to the top of the rankings.  

He continued: "When Islam Makhachev rises in the ranking, Oliveira will no longer be a champion.

"The main thing is that Oliveira should understand my words correctly.

"I respect him, he’s a worthy champion.

"But when Islam will go up, there will be another champion during the year.

"In my eyes, it will be Dustin Poirier."

Read more: Khabib Nurmagomedov confirms he turned down Floyd Mayweather superfight

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