Khabib Nurmagomedov names the hardest puncher he faced in his UFC career and it isn't Conor McGregor

Former UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov names his hardest hitting opponent

Khabib Nurmagomedov has named the hardest puncher he ever faced during his UFC career and it isn't Conor McGregor.

Contrary to popular belief, McGregor caught Khabib with a couple of good shots in their grudge match, but 'The Eagle' got the better of the Irishman with a submission in the fourth round to defend the UFC lightweight title.

The Dagestani wrestler announced his retirement from mixed martial arts earlier in the year following his 2020 defeat of former UFC interim lightweight champion Justin Gaethje, and it's the American, nicknamed 'The Highlight' with 19 knockouts in 22 wins, who gets the nod over 'The Notorious' in terms of power.  

“This guy hit like a truck, you know," Nurmagomedov told boxing legend Mike Tyson on 'The Hotboxin' with Mike Tyson' podcast

"Nobody hit me harder than Justin Gaethje. His kick, his punch, his left hook, right hook, right uppercut. I make him hit me, you know.

"When I go to the cage and I was sitting like, ‘Okay, I’m gonna go, I’m gonna bring him into the deep ocean.'

"I’m gonna make him tired in stand-up and I’m gonna bring him on the ground and finish him.”

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However, this isn't exactly anything new, as UFC president Dana White also told reporters at the UFC 254 post-fight press conference that Nurmagomedov had directly told him that Gaethje was the hardest puncher he'd ever shared the Octagon with.  

Speaking after the fight, White said: “Khabib was telling me this when I was with him last night, and I didn’t know this, maybe you guys knew this but all the stuff that him and Gaethje were talking about during that fight.

“He told me last night that he’s never been hit or kicked harder ever in a fight than by Gaethje.

“Gaethje hit him with a couple of shots and then he thought Gaethje looked kind of weird and he pointed at him and said ‘you have jetlag’ in the middle of the fight.

“Gaethje said ‘No, I don’t’ and hit him with an uppercut and a left hook. Khabib said something to him again and he leg kicked him.

"Then I guess when Khabib took him down and was on top of him he said, ‘Now what are you going to do?’”

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