Khabib vs Oliveira: Nurmagomedov has ice-cold reaction to comparisons

Khabib vs Oliveira: Nurmagomedov has ice-cold reaction to comparisons

Khabib Nurmagomedov has denied claims that Charles Oliveira has done enough to surpass his career.

The former UFC champion is regarded as one of the best lightweight fighters of all time, but some believe that the Brazilian should now be considered in that same conversation.

This is despite the 32-year-old missing weight before his title fight against Justin Gaethje recently.

It means that the fighter is no longer the champion even though he has beaten Michael Chandler, Dustin Poirier and Gaethje in his last three encounters.

Oliveira is the UFC’s all-time leader in overall finishes and submissions and has recovered from losses early in his career to put himself at the top of the sport. 

Khabib wasn’t having any of it, though, and quickly refuted the comparisons in an interview with ESPN.

The Russian said: “He impressed me like little bit, but every fight he goes down.

“This one is a little bit bad for him. Every fight he goes down a couple of times.

“Last fight it was like, how many? Two, three knockdowns?

“With Michael Chandler, with Dustin Poirier, with Justin Gaethje, he always goes down.

“This is like a little bit questionable, you know. Nobody ever touched my face, and all the time he goes down.”

The 33-year-old did, however, reserve some praise for Oliveira, admitting he has been impressed by the recent performances.

Charles Oliveira celebrating his win over Justin Gaethje
PHOENIX, ARIZONA – MAY 07: Charles Oliveira of Brazil celebrates after his submission victory over Justin Gaethje in their UFC lightweight championship bout during UFC 274 at Footprint Center on May 07, 2022 in Phoenix, Arizona. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

He added: “But what he’s doing, this is very impressive.

“How he came back from so many losses, and now he has good ground, he has good striking game.

“Knees, elbows, kicks, he looks good. That’s why I really want to see him against Islam. This is like a big test for both of them.”

The now-retired UFC icon has had to deal with a lot of questions about him possibly making a retirement U-turn, which he has frequently denied is on the cards.

Khabib in action inside the Octagon
Khabib in action inside the Octagon

But a fight we may see in the near future between Oliveira and Islam Makhachev could potentially happen for the vacant lightweight title. It will be an intriguing fight to see and it could likely determine who is the best lightweight in the world.

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