Reigning UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov has made a living out of beating fighters up and remaining undefeated in his professional mixed martial arts (MMA) career.
The 27-0 Russian champ is coming off a huge submission victory over UFC superstar Conor McGregor in which he left no doubt that he’s the best 155-pound fighter on the planet. As a result, “Eagle” essentially has the MMA world by the combat cojones.
While many other UFC fighters currently sport an undefeated record, including middleweight sensation Israel Adesanya, light heavyweight youngster Dominick Reyes, flyweight finisher Deiveson Figueiredo, brash bantamweight Sean O’Malley, and female fighters Mackenzie Dern and Tatiana Suarez, nobody even comes close to Khabib.
Of course, newly acquired welterweight contender Ben Askren, who holds a perfect professional record of 18-0, could start to inch closer to “Eagle” as he makes his transition to the Octagon. Despite his accolades, which include championship titles under the Bellator MMA and ONE Championship banners, Khabib believes Askren has much to prove in his UFC arrival.
“He never fight in the UFC,” Nurmagomedov told Submission Radio (shown above). “He has to fight in the UFC first of all. He has to show his levels because I see how someone smash him in ONE FC. Somebody like smashed him in ONE FC. He just signed to the UFC and tried talk, you know.
“But now everybody tries to talk and promote these things, but you have to compete in the UFC, then we’re gonna see his levels.”
While Khabib has a point about not counting your chickens before they hatch, Askren’s combat experience isn’t limited to just the cage. The 34-year-old welterweight comes from a storied collegiate wrestling background and has trained alongside the likes of UFC champion Tyron Woodley and former UFC champion Anthony Pettis for years.
Currently scheduled to make his Octagon debut against former UFC welterweight king Robbie Lawler at UFC 235 this March, Askren will have his chance to make a huge divisional splash and prove potential doubters like Khabib wrong.
And you knows. If Askren is able to carry over his dominance into UFC maybe he’ll one day meet Khabib at 170 pounds.