Georges St-Pierre's coach Firas Zahabi recently compared Khabib Nurmagomedov to current UFC welterweight champion Kamaru Usman. Zahabi is of the opinion that Usman's size will be his only advantage if he clashes with Nurmagomedov inside the cage.
Firas Zahabi stated that in pound-for-pound terms, Khabib Nurmagomedov surpasses Usman any day. The Tristar Gym owner favors the Dagestani fighter in a matchup where neither fighter has a size advantage.
"If it was pound-for-pound, both of them we equal-sized, I think Khabib wins," said Firas Zahabi.
In their respective divisions, both Kamaru Usman and Khabib Nurmagomedov have established their dominance with undefeated UFC records. Nurmagomedov currently resides at the top of the Men's Pound-For-Pound rankings. Usman, on the other hand, has been awarded the #3 spot on the list.
In a recent interview with ESPN's Brett Okamoto, Kamaru Usman took offense to ESPN's P4P rankings as they allotted him the #5 spot on their list. Since 'The Eagle' has announced his retirement from the sport, Usman believes that he rightfully deserves the #1 spot.
"What makes that pound-for-pound (list)? Is that a popularity contest? Are they saying these guys are popular? That's why they are No. 1 pound-for-pound? If that's not what we're going by then how could you say that I don't belong higher up there?" Usman asked.
Will Khabib Nurmagomedov consider coming out of retirement to fight Kamaru Usman?
At UFC 253, Khabib Nurmagomedov announced his retirement after submitting Justin Gaethje in the second round. He mentioned that he had promised his mother he won't fight anymore in the absence of his late father.
However, it appears as though UFC president Dana White is not ready to let go of the lightweight champion. White has been persistent about Khabib making his return, as the Dagestani is still in his prime and could further extend his undefeated record to 30-0.
There have been no indications from Nurmagomedov or his camp that he might make a return in the future. If Khabib Nurmagomedov decides to make a comeback, Kamaru Usman could be a legitimate threat to the Dagestani's undefeated streak. The Nigerian Nightmare boasts of a resume quite similar to Nurmagomedov's with a stellar 17-1 record.
However, Kamaru Usman revealed on the Joe Rogan Experience that he considers Khabib to be an ally and will not step in the cage against him.
“I would never fight Khabib, that’s my brother. It’s just a mutual respect. I don’t see myself ever fighting Khabib. I don’t see myself ever fighting Israel. Even though a lot of people have hinted toward it,” said Kamaru Usman.
It is evident that Kamaru Usman does not wish to be ranked lower than anybody in the P4P rankings, considering his undeniable dominant run in the UFC. The dream matchup between Usman and Khabib Nurmagomedov will certainly determine who is the best pound-for-pound fighter in the world.
Published 19 Feb 2021, 16:56 IST