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5 reasons why Khabib Nurmagomedov is the GOAT

Khabib Nurmagomedov of Russia celebrates his victory over Justin Gaethje
Khabib Nurmagomedov of Russia celebrates his victory over Justin Gaethje
CONTRIBUTOR
Modified 27 Oct 2020, 11:11 IST
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Khabib Nurmagomedov, after a clinical performance against Justin Gaethje, left his gloves in the ring to signify that it would be his last fight in the Octagon. Many believed the American would be the toughest test of the Russian's career, but this fight followed the same trajectory as his other fights - with Khabib on the offensive and his opponent doing his best to survive. 

In the aftermath, Dana White among many others concurred what we all knew felt was coming for some time now - Khabib is the best pound-for-pound fighter in the UFC at the moment.

However, the next question is a bit more tricky - is he the greatest of all time?

Here are five reasons why Khabib Nurmagomedov could very well be.

#1 Khabib Nurmagomedov's dominance in MMA

In MMA, you will seldom see a fighter with an unbeaten record, let alone an unbeaten record with almost 30 fights. What is more impressive is he has unanimously lost just one round during his time in the UFC - against Conor McGregor - and that too in a fight he ended up winning.

Khabib's dominance over his opponents is unparalleled. Among the rest of the fighters in the GOAT conversation, only Jon Jones can claim to be - for all intents and purposes - undefeated.

However, even he can't claim to have dominated his opponents in the way the 32-year-old has over the last decade in UFC. 

#2 The depth of the Lightweight division 

habib Nurmagomedov celebrates his win over Al Iaquinta 
habib Nurmagomedov celebrates his win over Al Iaquinta 
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The Lightweight and Welterweight divisions in the UFC or any other organisation is usually the most stacked divisions owing to the law of averages. Most average sized human beings belong to those weight categories. As such, you end up with deeper talent pools in them.

Khabib's record, in that shark-tank of a division, underlines his greatness. 

A quick glance at some of the opponents he has overcome during his time in the UFC will read Pat Healy, Rafael dos Anjos, Darrell Horcher, Michael Johnson, Edson Barboza, Al Iaquinta, Conor McGregor, Dustin Poirier and Justin Gaethje - the who's who of the division over the last decade.

We know styles make fights. But Khabib has faced wrestlers, submission specialists and top-level strikers and managed to come out at the other end without a scratch. 

Being the best is one thing, but being the best in, arguably, the best division in UFC, is Khabib's crowning glory. 

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Published 27 Oct 2020, 11:11 IST
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