Twenty-nine fights. 29 wins. As far as legacies go, Khabib Nurmagomedov has cemented his.
Often touted as the greatest UFC fighter in the history of the promotion, the Dagestani MMA icon ruled the lightweight division with an iron fist. He was, after all, UFC’s longest-reigning lightweight champion, having held the title for three years.
Khabib retired with an undefeated record, but former light heavyweight champion Jon Jones is not of the opinion that Khabib is the UFC’s greatest of all time.
In an interview with ESPN’s Max Kellerman, Jones explained why he, not The Eagle, is UFC’s GOAT.
“If you were to ask some MMA experts about myself and Khabib, I think most people would be able to tell our resumes are completely different.
“I’ve fought so many world champions that I’ve defeated. Khabib, a lot of his victories are against a lot of people that are relatively unknown.”
Jones added that he has been fighting legends since he was a young man, which is why he deserves the accolade in that debate.
Jones, though, has a few factors going against him in this discussion, chief among them being his chequered record with the law.
Earlier this year, Jones was arrested by the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department for injuring or tampering with a vehicle and misdemeanour battery domestic violence.
All said and done, Bones is in no doubt about the impact Khabib has had on the sport.
“I think Khabib’s an amazing fighter,” Jones told Kellerman. “He’s done a great job representing UFC. He’s a great ambassador for our sport.”
The debate between the pair has raged on for some time, but it escalated after Khabib announced his retirement.
While Khabib is hailed by many as a no-nonsense fighter right up there with the very best, a number of MMA fans have claimed Jones is just one title in a separate division shy of being firmly crowned the GOAT.
Jones has been angling for a shot at the UFC heavyweight title for some time now. He willingly vacated his light heavyweight title with one eye on “running through the heavyweight division like dominoes.”
We are still awaiting that to happen, however.