BJ Penn accused Khabib Nurmagomedov of avoiding a fight with Kamaru Usman because 'he is not proficient and confident in jiujitsu'.
The UFC Hall of Famer made the astonishing claim on social media, questioning Khabib's status as the lightweight GOAT.
But Penn has batted back at those suggestions by comparing both of their careers and claiming that Nurmagomedov is 'not comfortable fighting off his back against someone who is bigger and stronger'.
He wrote on Instagram: "Since Khabib has been saying he is the greatest lightweight of all time and I am number 2 best lightweight many people have been asking me why didn’t Khabib fight Usman for the 170 pound belt or compete for 170 belt like I did many times… in my humble opinion it is because he is not proficient and confident in jiujitsu.
"I believe the reason behind Khabib not fighting Usman is because he does not know jiujitsu like I did and he is not comfortable fighting off his back against someone who is bigger and stronger than him like I did many many times in my career. I fought at 170 185 and heavyweight and every fight I had to fight from my back and survive and come back and fight harder if I was to get a victory."
Penn went on to explain why he thinks he should be considered the GOAT, not Nurmagomedov.
"It’s because of my jiujitsu black belt experience and fighting in my weight and absolute division for years that always prepared me for this," he added. "Gracie jiujitsu and Brazilian jiu-jitsu alone is not enough to be UFC champion but to choose one system BJJ is still the greatest self defense system in the world especially for the little man to fight the big man.
"It was just part of the game… Khabib says jiujitsu is easy and he is the best grappler ever but he did not fight bigger opponents in higher weight classes because his style is not prepared for this …and that’s what jiujitsu was created for.. for the little man to defend himself from the big man! That is martial arts, that is self defense."
Penn last fought back in May 2019, suffering the most recent setback of his career where he lost to Clay Guida by unanimous decision.
After the fight, Dana White confirmed the UFC had released the former champion from his contract.
However, he recently resumed training and is looking to return to action before the end of the year.