Nurmagomedov successfully defended the UFC’s 155-pound strap by submitting interim champion Justin Gaethje in the main event of UFC 254 in Abu Dhabi over the weekend.
Following the victory, Nurmagomedov, who improved to 29-0 in his career, stunned the world by announcing his retirement.
It didn’t take long for people to speculate who could become the next lightweight king and how the UFC should go about the process of crowning one.
According to Abdelaziz, however, there is no vacant title to compete for.
“There’s no vacant title here,” Abdelaziz said in a tweet that quoted MMA Fighting’s Damon Martin, who was discussing a potential Conor McGregor vs. Dustin Poirier matchup for the ‘vacant’ title.
Until the UFC announce that the lightweight title is indeed up for grabs, Khabib Nurmagomedov’s counsel is correct in saying that the title still belongs to the Russian superstar.
Now, whether this means that Khabib Nurmagomedov has backtracked on his decision to hang up his gloves remains to be seen.
Khabib Nurmagomedov’s record-setting UFC run
We may have seen the last of Khabib Nurmagomedov in the UFC, but the milestones that he set during his run inside the Octagon may remain for quite a while.
The Dagestani-born grappler won all of his 13 fights in the UFC and set a number of records in the division along the way, with the most notable of them being the longest-reigning lightweight champion in UFC history at 931 days. He also tied Tony Ferguson for the most consecutive wins in the lightweight division with 12.
Nurmagomedov is also tied with former champs B.J. Penn, Frankie Edgar and Benson Henderson for most title defenses in the lightweight division and most consecutive title defenses in the lightweight division, with 3 each.
“The Eagle” is also tied with Penn and Henderson for having the most title bouts in the lightweight division with 4.
With his 13th-straight UFC win, Nurmagomedov also joined some elite company in Jon Jones, Demetrious Johnson, Georges St-Pierre, and Max Holloway as the fighters with the second-most consecutive wins in the promotion’s history. Middleweight legend Anderson Silva still leads the way with 16 consecutive victories.
Without a doubt, Khabib Nurmagomedov is among the UFC’s greatest-ever fighters.
Published 26 Oct 2020, 15:17 IST