Khabib Nurmagomedov was well on his way to the greatest of all-time conversation, but he stopped short of G.O.A.T. status by — understandably— retiring, says Michael Bisping.
The debate about whether or not Khabib qualifies for the G.O.A.T debate is almost more contentious than the actual G.O.A.T conversation itself. Some will argue that Khabib’s undefeated run (29-0) and a stretch of Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Lightweight title victories over Justin Gaethje, Dustin Poirier, Conor McGregor and Al Iaquinta make him the all-time king. Others like Bisping, however, argue the totality of his resume does not match up to the likes of Jon Jones, Anderson Silva or Georges St-Pierre.
“He took himself out of it,” Bisping told True Geordie on The Pain Game podcast (h/t BJPenn.com). “And if you look, yeah, he didn’t fight the best until the end of his career. When you compare that with GSP or Jones or Anderson, their run against world-class competition was far longer. But for Khabib, I know it was because of his father passing away, and he made a promise to his mother. So, it’s different circumstances.
“But for those reasons, I think when you look at the resumes, even though he was undefeated, the resumes don’t really stack up,” Bisping continued. “And I say that with tremendous respect to Khabib – Far being from me to downplay his career because I would never dream of doing that.”
Khabib retired from mixed martial arts (MMA) following a successful defense of his Lightweight title against Justin Gaethje (watch highlights) at UFC 254 on Oct. 24, 2020. He won via second-round technical submission (triangle choke).
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