UFC GOAT: Dana White on why Khabib Nurmagomedov cannot be considered

UFC GOAT: Dana White on why Khabib Nurmagomedov cannot be considered

UFC president Dana White believes that former lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov retired too early to be considered one of the greatest.

With a professional record of 29-0, it’s fair to say that Khabib was dominant throughout the entirety of his career.

The Russian last fought in October of 2020 at UFC 254, where he defeated Justin Gaethje via submission to retain his title.

Immediately after the fight, the champion announced his retirement from the sport in emotional scenes.

However, he then officially confirmed his retirement in 2021, vacating the lightweight title.

Khabib stated that he could not continue fighting after he lost his father Abdulmanap. The Russian promised his mother that he would step away after the Gaethje fight, and that is what he has done.

Speaking on GQ Sports, White was responding to a fan statement pondering whether Khabib could be classed the GOAT of UFC.

In response, White said: “It’s so hard. Obviously, he is talented enough. You know, who knows what he could accomplish, but he retired too early.

“I mean Jon Jones is probably gonna fight at heavyweight this year. You know, whatever you think about Jon, it’s hard not to call him a GOAT.

“Believe me when I tell you, I have tried to convince Khabib to come out of retirement. We will see what happens over the next couple of years, but I feel like he left in his prime. I mean, look at what he did to Justin Gaethje right before he retired.”

UFC GOAT: Dana White on why Khabib Nurmagomedov cannot be considered
LAS VEGAS, NEVADA – JUNE 30: Khabib Nurmagomedov speaks during the UFC Hall of Fame induction ceremony at T-Mobile Arena on June 30, 2022 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Carmen Mandato/Getty Images)

Many believe that Jon Jones is the greatest. However, he has not fought since 2020. With that being said, Bones is set to make his heavyweight debut later this year per reports.

After winning the vacant title against Al Iaquinta, Khabib would only defend the title three times against Conor McGregor, Dustin Poirier and Gaethje.

On his day, Khabib was a joy to watch as he ran through every opponent and came away unscathed every time.

Despite this, White doesn’t think he can be classed the UFC GOAT, and he doesn’t even make the president’s top five of all time!

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