Khabib Nurmagomedov names himself in top six UFC GOAT list - no Conor McGregor

  • Tom Ward

Khabib Nurmagomedov is often thought of as the greatest MMA fighter to set foot in the UFC Octagon.

Nurmagomedov, 33, announced his retirement from mixed martial arts after successfully defending his lightweight title against Justin Gaethje in October 2020 at UFC 254 in Abu Dhabi.

‘The Eagle’ is widely regarded as the greatest martial artist to grace the sport in the 12 years he spent in the cage.

Speaking in an interview with Brett Okamoto for ESPN, Nurmagomedov explained that he doesn’t think of himself like that in that way as he feels there are several others who also deserve a mention as well.

The Russian legend believes Anderson Silva, Daniel Cormier, Demetrious Johnson, Jon Jones and Georges St-Pierre all deserve to be acknowledged as the UFC GOAT.

But unsurprisingly there was no mention of his arch rival and former two-weight champion Conor McGregor who was submitted in their 2018 grudge match.

He said: “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.

Khabib Nurmagomedov revealed his UFC GOAT list from fighters past and present

“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.”

However, UFC president Dana White doesn’t think Nurmagomedov spent enough time with the promotion to be considered its greatest ever fighter.

During an appearance on THE FIGHT with Teddy Atlas, he said: “It’s so hard.

“I mean Chuck Liddell and Ronda Rousey are two people who really helped build this business, you know, super loyal.

“Right now, I think Kamaru Usman is the pound-for-pound best fighter in the world, what he’s accomplished in the past few years is amazing.

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“I think Khabib probably could be called the greatest ever, who knows, if he’d stuck around longer. It was unfortunate, the passing of his father.

“You know, he’s just gotten to a point in his life where, you know how that goes too, when you’ve got so much money it changes everything.

“The fight business is a tough business to get up and go to every day when you’ve got that kind of money.

“He’s going to find out what it’s like to be on the other side. It’s not as fun as it seems.

“He’s going to learn. If he doesn’t know, he’s going to know.

“If he calls me and wants advice, I would absolutely give him advice.

“But I think he’s going to learn the hard way.”

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