Former UFC star Ben Askren believes Khabib Nurmagomedov is the greatest fighter of all time, ahead of Jon Jones and Anderson Silva. According to Askren, Nurmagomedov's body of work and his stellar record are what make him the true GOAT of MMA.
In a recent interview with Helen Yee, Ben Askren weighed in on the MMA GOAT debate. According to Askren, Silva, Jones, and Nurmagomedov are all exceptional athletes but there's one thing that separates the Russian from everyone else.
Even though Silva and Jones have more successful title defenses, Khabib Nurmagomedov's perfect 29-0 record against top opposition sets him apart from the rest of the pack.
"You know when you say Jon Jones has x number of title defenses or Anderson Silva did or whoever did it right because there's a bunch of people who have more than him [Khabib]. It's a really good argument but I still think that when you look at the body of work, it's so clean, it's so flawless it's hard not to think of him as one of the greatest of all time and I know there's a lot of people that disagree with that sentiment."
Is Khabib Nurmagomedov ahead of Jon Jones and Anderson Silva in the GOAT debate?
Jon Jones can argue the only loss of his career thus far shouldn't count, because he was disqualified for an illegal strike in a fight he was clearly winning. But it doesn't negate the fact he tested positive for performance-enhancing drugs more than once in his career.
Anderson Silva, on the other hand, was a phenom and ruled the middleweight division for years. But since the loss to Chris Weidman in 2013 he hasn't been the same. Silva's formerly impressive record also took a hit as he suffered frequent losses inside the octagon in the latter stages of his career. The Brazilian also tested positive for using prohibited substances.
However, there have been no such controversies in Khabib Nurmagomedov's career. He fought and conquered some of the most dangerous fighters in the promotion on his way to the top. The lightweight division is packed with some of the most talented fighters on the planet and Nurmagomedov handily dealt with all challengers to his dominance.