Dana White reveals how close Khabib Nurmagomedov is to pound-for-pound #1 rank

UFC 229: Khabib v McGregor Press Conference
UFC 229: Khabib v McGregor Press Conference
R. Nath

Khabib Nurmagomedov ranks #2 in the men's pound-for-pound list, one below Jon Jones. While the pound-for-pound list has been highly-criticized for inclusions like the inactive Conor McGregor, it's still highly debated and spoken about.

One of the big debates is that UFC Lightweight Champion Khabib Nurmagomedov belongs on top of the list. It's hard to dispute that the Lightweight division is the most stacked in the UFC, as compared to Jon Jones' former division, Light Heavyweight.

Not only that, but Khabib Nurmagomedov's title victories have been more dominant than Jon Jones'. While Jon Jones has also remained undefeated if you don't count a disqualification loss, his wins over Thiago Santos and Dominick Reyes were ones where fans argued that the decision should have gone the other way.

Speaking to the media on Fight Island (H/T MMA Fighting), Dana White said that Khabib Nurmagomedov is a win away from becoming the number one pound-for-pound fighter in the world:

“Khabib is looking down the barrel of not only the greatest to ever do it in this division, but listen, I think if he beats Justin on Saturday, he’s the No. 1 pound-for-pound fighter in the world and he’s on his way to GOAT status,” White said during the UFC 254 pre-fight press conference."

Dana White emphasized the fact that Khabib Nurmagomedov is among the biggest stars in sports and not just UFC. He explained the metrics that the Lightweight Champion has produced for the company on social media:

“He’s one of the biggest stars in the sport,” White said. “Khabib’s videos have generated 222 million views. His content that features him, over 100 million video views just this year alone, just on Facebook. He’s broken records on Instagram. I could just rattle off numbers all day. He’s by far the No. 1 most played character in the video game globally. By a long shot."

Was Khabib Nurmagomedov number one a few years ago?

Khabib Nurmagomedov is on a journey to hit an unprecedented 30-0. While Justin Gaethje is the man he faces, the Russian is still a heavy favorite to win on Fight Island.

One could argue that Khabib Nurmagomedov has been the pound-for-pound number one for a while now. Still, his recent wins over Conor McGregor and Dustin Poirier elevated his star power to a whole new level.

Edited by Zaid Khan

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