Khabib Nurmagomedov is arguably one of the greatest fighters in UFC history. He is undoubtedly the best lightweight to have ever graced the octagon. But even ‘The Eagle’ felt a lack of respect because, for a long time, the UFC didn’t recognize him as the best pound-for-pound fighter despite his dominance inside the octagon.
In a post-fight press conference after beating Dustin Poirier at UFC 242, Khabib Nurmagomedov spoke about how the promotion didn’t always give him the respect he deserved.
Nurmagomedov thoroughly dominated and beat up the best fighters in the 155lbs division. Instead of hailing him as the best pound-for-pound fighter in the UFC, the promotion would pit him against a new challenger almost immediately after every fight:
“Even if you 28-0, 12-0 in the UFC, you one of the biggest star, you smash everybody, people going to talk about you have to fight with him, you have to fight with him. Give me just respect, put me on #1 pound-for-pound because I think I deserve this because I dominate with all my opponents. I am undefeated and I think I deserve some respect,” Nurmagomedov said.
Khabib Nurmagomedov’s dream finally came true following UFC 254
Well, Khabib Nurmagomedov got the recognition he wanted after announcing his retirement following an emphatic win over Justin Gaethje at UFC 254 last year. Khabib was immediately made the #1 pound-for-pound fighter in the UFC and the Russian became the first fighter to remove Jon Jones from the top spot on that list.
In an emotional reaction to being ranked #1 on the pound-for-pound fighters list, Khabib Nurmagomedov stated the following on Instagram:
“It was work of my life, I never got anything easy, and nothing was given to me because I’m nice guy. Hard work, hope for Allah and patience, this three ingredient helps me to get successful, and of course, control and advises from my Father, who invested in me a lot of time and work.”