clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Kamaru Usman ‘impressed’ by Charles Oliveira but insists Khabib ‘is a different level’

Longtime veteran Charles Oliveira finally realized his dream of becoming UFC lightweight champion with a thrilling, second-round technical knockout over Michael Chandler at the UFC 262 pay-per-view (PPV) event last weekend in Houston, Texas.

UFC welterweight champion Kamaru Usman was impressed.

But “The Nigerian Nightmare” believes there is a marked difference between stopping a contender like Chandler and getting past a vicious “Eagle” like Khabib Nurmagomedov, who surrendered the strap in favor of retirement back in late 2020.

“For the ones who truly know, (they) know what would happen in that fight,” Usman told TMZ Sports (transcribed by Adam Martin). “More power to Charles Oliveira. I’m impressed by him and I’m a fan of what he’s been able to do in his career. But I just think there are levels to the game and I think Khabib is a different level.”

Oliveira (31-8, 1 NC) is the winner of nine straight with eight of those contests ending by way of knockout or submission. Nurmagomedov, meanwhile, retired with a perfect record of 29-0, racking up 13 straight wins as a UFC lightweight.

“I think Khabib did watch the fight,” Usman continued. “Was he intrigued and thinking, ‘Hey I want to get back in there’ ... probably not. He’s a man that’s happy. He’s happy with his life. He’s happy with the direction that it’s gone, and yeah, I think he’s retired.”

Bad news for UFC fans, great news for Dagestani sheep.

Sign up for the newsletter Sign up for the MMA Mania Daily Roundup newsletter!

A daily roundup of all your fighting news from MMA Mania