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Midnight Mania! Colby Covington argues Charles Oliveira’s success ‘delegitimizes’ Khabib’s legacy

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UFC 242 Press Conference Photo by Marc Atkins/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC

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Few expected Charles Oliveira to take over Khabib Nurmagomedov’s mantle, but that’s precisely what has happened.

After “The Eagle” retired at the height of his powers, the next title contenders were not immediately clear. Dustin Poirier opted to chase the money fight vs. Conor McGregor rather than undisputed gold, clearing the way for Charles Oliveira and Michael Chandler to throw down. Oliveira defeated his foe in one of the year’s best scraps, walking away with a gold belt as a result.

Just a few weeks ago at UFC 269, Oliveira further established himself as the best Lightweight in the world but punishing and strangling Poirier, who many marked as the next champion. Per Welterweight standout Colby Covington, however, Oliveira may have done more than just proven his own name.

He may have also struck a blow to Khabib’s legacy.

“It definitely kinda delegitimizes his (Khabib) legacy,” Covington told Submission Radio (via MMANews). “He never really fought a high, high-level wrestler that could challenge him, that was good, in both areas of striking and wrestling, and submissions and defensive wrestling. So, you know, there’s always been doubts about Khabib’s legacy. He had an interesting route and he took some time off in-between his career. He got good matchups, you know, people that didn’t know how to wrestle. Even, a lot of people thought that he lost to a guy I used to train with all the time, Tibau, Gleison Tibau. He won a split decision over him but a lot of people thought he lost that fight.

“I definitely think that kinda puts a dampener into Khabib’s legacy. That guy’s (Poirier) going out there and getting submitted just like you did to him; the same exact way. So how would that matchup go with him and the Brazilian?”

It should be noted that Nurmagomedov scored three defenses to Oliveira’s single title defense, but Oliveira is likely to try to even that gap a bit with his next bout vs. either Justin Gaethje or Conor McGregor, former Nurmagomedov opponents. Additionally, Covington’s claim that Nurmagomedov never fought anyone who could wrestle does fall a bit flat when considering Gaethje’s All-American credentials.

Perhaps more than anything else, this is another attempt from Covington to dunk on Poirier and line up a fight vs. “The Diamond.”

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