The newly-crowned lightweight champion of the world gave his pick for the sport of MMA’s finest ever fighter and no, he did not pick himself.
The champ is well and truly here, ladies and gentlemen.
At UFC 223, after an unprecedently crazy fight-week, Khabib Nurmagomedov got the job done in dominant fashion against Al Iaquinta to finally take home the UFC lightweight title. He, of course, received a well-deserved hero’s welcome in his country and while we’re sure the celebratory period has been good, it does look as though he is just dying to get back into that octagon.
Khabib spoke during a Q&A at a Russian university yesterday and while he touched on a great number of topics, his pick for the title of G.O.A.T is certainly an interesting one.
The former-welterweight champion of the world Georges St-Pierre managed to escalate his legendary status even further by clinching the middleweight belt from Michael Bisping at UFC 217 last year and while we may never see him compete again, his unparalleled era of dominance will live on in the annals of MMA history forever.
Nurmagomedov has been pretty vocal in his criticism of some of his fellow UFC fighters but at this event, he spoke about St-Pierre as the greatest mixed martial artist he has ever seen.
“The last time I saw him was a hotel in Moscow where I was staying. He was sitting in a restaurant on the ground floor and I was making my way out. I approached him from the back and grabbed his neck and started strangling him [playfully]. So we had a talk, a nice talk actually. I think he’s the greatest fighter in the history of the UFC.” (via MMANytt)
The prospect of facing GSP inside the octagon, however, is an opportunity he would happily take, not for any personal reason, of course, but purely for the sporting challenge.
“It’s competition and I’d love to fight and beat him. Not because he’s a bad guy, it’s just that the way sports are.”
It does look as though Khabib will defend his UFC title before the summer is out, but with ‘Rush’ now sitting on the sidelines indefinitely after suffering a bout of colitis, who knows if a potential matchup with the Russian lightweight will light enough of a fire under the former-champs belly to see him take it on.
Cillian Cunningham, Pundit Arena