Retired superstar Khabib Nurmagomedov has said that he is satisfied that at the time of his retirement he was the No.1 pound-for-pound fighter in the sport, but doesn’t feel the urge to make a case for being ‘The Greatest Of All Time.’
“I fight and I showed the world,” Nurmagomedov told ESPN. “And from nowhere, I came here and took all of everything. At that moment, I was the No. 1 pound-for-pound fighter. This, nobody can say nothing. It was not Kamaru Usman, it was not Jon Jones, who fights very close fights with all these light heavyweights like Ovince Saint Preux, like Thiago (Santos), Anthony Smith, Dominick Reyes. These guys, [Jones] showed versus them very bad performances, and everything that happened with doping. But what about me? I was mauling everybody.”
However, when it comes to a discussion as to who was the best ever, Khabib appears to think that it’s impossible to choose, and says he’s happy to just be considered one of the all-time greats of the sport.
“At that moment, the 24th of October, 2020, I was on the top. After that, whatever happened, I don’t care. I don’t want to push my name or call me the 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. I am on one level, I put my name on one level. And I don’t want to call this guy the greatest, he’s No. 2, he’s No. 3. [Just] one of the best.”
So firm is that belief these days, that when the chance to fight another man in the discussion for ‘G.O.A.T’ status, Georges St-Pierre, finally presented itself, he turned it down.
“[Dana White] sent me a message and said, ‘Hey, Georges St-Pierre wants to fight with you,’” Nurmagomedov said. “I said, ‘What can I do?’ I don’t know. I’m finished, you know? I think Georges is finished, too, you know. Let this guy be a legend. He’s 40 years old and I don’t understand why he has to fight. I think he has money, too. I’m finished. I’m really finished.”