If you had a choice between holding multiple world titles across several different weight classes, or wearing just one title and remaining undefeated for the entirety of your combat sports career ... which would you choose?
According to reigning UFC lightweight champion, Khabib Nurmagomedov, a fighter’s legacy is defined by what he accomplishes at his chosen weight, and not his (or her) ability to capitalize on favorable match ups — stylistically speaking — in other divisions.
“I think if you want to improve your legacy by changing weight classes, I don’t think this is help for you,” Nurmagomedov told MMA Junkie. “Only one thing helps for you. You have to beat up-and-comers. What about when you beat tough opponents and you’re still undefeated more than the others. I think this is going to improve your legacy.”
Nurmagomedov (27-0) made his Octagon debut in early 2012 with a submission victory over Iranian wrestler Kamal Shalorus, before embarking on an 11-fight win streak that includes last October’s drubbing of former two-division titleholder, Conor McGregor.
“If you lose couple times and you win one title, second title, you lose again, and then you win third title, this does not make you great,” Nurmagomedov said. “My opinion, when you’re undefeated long time and you never lose, this is when it’s real thing. I don’t focus on welterweight or featherweight, my focus is the lightweight division.”
As it should be, with contenders like this guy waiting in the wings.
The undefeated “Eagle” will first have to focus on interim lightweight champion, Dustin Poirier, who meets the Dagestani bruiser in the UFC 242 pay-per-view (PPV) main event on ESPN+ this Sat. (Sept. 7, 2019) inside The Arena on Yas Island in Abu Dhabi.
For much more on that upcoming fight click here.