GSP, Jones, Silva: Khabib Nurmagomedov names the greatest UFC fighters of all time

  • Tom Ward
Khabib Nurmagomedov

Khabib Nurmagomedov has compiled a list of who he thinks are the greatest fighters in UFC history, with the likes of Conor McGregor and Kamaru Usman failing to make the cut. 

Big names like Henry Cejudo and Stipe Miocic were also absent from his rankings with legendary fighters such as Chuck Liddell and BJ Penn also missing out.    

Often regarded as one of the greatest fighters of his generation, ‘The Eagle’ was renowned for his wrestling-based style of unrelenting pressure, due to his agility, cardio and grappling ability, as well as his use of trips, feints, effective striking, takedown attempts and ground and pound from a top position. 

When asked by ESPN‘s Brett Okamoto if he considers himself to be one of the greatest MMA fighters of all time, the 32-year-old replied: “I don’t want to push my name [or say], ‘Call me greatest of all time.’ No. I am one of the greatest of all time.

“I am on one level with Fedor [Emelianenko], Anderson Silva, Jon Jones, Daniel Cormier, Demetrious Johnson, Georges St-Pierre.

“I am on one level. I put my name on one level. I don’t want to call this guy the greatest, he’s No. 2, he’s No. 3… One of the best.”

Read more: Chuck Liddell exclusive: Anderson Silva is ‘the greatest UFC fighter of all time’

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The ultimate Khabib Nurmagomedov quiz: Where was he born?

Nurmagomedov (29-0) officially retired from professional mixed martial arts in 2020 after beating fellow UFC star Justin Gaethje at UFC 254 in Abu Dhabi.

The 32-year-old Russian superstar had teased a sensational return to the octagon earlier this year when UFC president Dana White attempted to coax him out of retirement.   

However, the Dagestani wrestler is now focused on promoting and is happy with the decision to hang up his gloves.  

He added: “For me it’s like, 30-0, 29-0, 15-0, like, it’s nothing. I fight, I show the world from nowhere I come here and take over everything, you know?

“At that moment, I was No. 1 pound-for-pound fighter, nobody can say nothing.

“It was not Kamaru Usman, it was not Jon Jones, who fight very close fights with all these light heavyweights like Ovince Saint Preux, like Thiago [Santos], Anthony Smith, Dominick Reyes.

“He showed versus them like very bad performance and everything what happened with doping and everything but what about me? I was mauling everybody.

“And at that moment, 24 October, 2020, I was on the top, and after that what happened, I don’t care.”  

Read more: Khabib Nurmagomedov reacts to Conor McGregor’s broken leg sustained in Dustin Poirier fight

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