Aldo is rumored to have criticized Khabib for retiring too early and added that he would've lost eventually had he chosen to defend his UFC lightweight title more than three times. However, Thomson believes Khabib's decision to walk away when he did was valid as he had already suffered a ton of wear and tear before he got into the UFC.
"When I had interviewed him before and talked to him before, (he told me) he had 250 sambo fights before he even got into the UFC" Thomson said. "We were having these conversations about him and he's fought guys and maybe they aren't all elite-level but 250 is a lot. And we're talking about sambo – which is very similar to what MMA is" he added.
Sambo is a Russian martial art, an internationally practiced combat sport, and a recognized style of amateur wrestling. The sport is very similar to modern MMA.
At this point, McCarthy chimed in and said that out of the 250 sambo fights, Nurmagomedov only lost once. However, there's no way to verify if Thomson's claims were true as there are no available records of Nurmagomedov's sambo career outside of a few clips on YouTube.
Watch Khabib Nurmagomedov's only loss in combat sports:
'Big' John McCarthy defends Khabib Nurmagomedov
Former UFC referee 'Big' John McCarthy believes Khabib Nurmagomedov's decision to retire in his prime does nothing to tarnish his immaculate legacy. McCarthy added that the only opinion that matters regarding the former UFC lightweight champ's retirement is Khabib's.
"All I'm saying is this, if you take a look, you can complain about anything," said McCarthy. "People are gonna complain about Khabib leaving and saying, 'Oh, he didn't defend enough.' There's only one person that can say when he should leave: that's him. And when you say, 'Hey, this is it. It's enough.' It's not that I don't want to see him again, I would love to see Khabib fight, but when he says enough, hey, thank you very much for what you've done."
Watch Josh Thomson and John McCarthy discuss the beef between Jose Aldo and Khabib Nurmagomedov: