When UFC placed Khabib Nurmagomedov as the No. 1 fighter in their pound-for-pound rankings last November, there was one fight who appeared offended by the decision - Jon Jones.
Despite an initial congratulatory tweet, 'Bones' went on a tirade on Twitter about UFC giving away the no. 1 position to Khabib Nurmagomedov simply because he "asked for it" in his post-fight interview. The Eagle also announced his retirement from the sport in the same interview after defeating Justin Gaethje.
Jones' reaction once again kickstarted the conversation around the GOAT status in MMA and there were some strong arguments on both sides. UFC welterweight Belal Muhammad backed Khabib Nurmagomedov as the GOAT. He even went on to predict that if 'The Eagle' were to fight Jon Jones at 205 pounds, he would emerge victorious from the bout.
It was quite a bold stance to take, given that Jon Jones has held the light heavyweight title on and off for nearly a decade, along with putting together a 13-fight win streak in the division. Jones has gone through greats like 'Shogun' Rua, Lyoto Machida, Alexander Gustafsson, and Glover Teixeira among others to build his streak.
Moreover, there is a significant difference in the height, size, and reach of the two fighters. Even if Nurmagomedov gains muscle mass to compete at 205 pounds in a hypothetical situation, he will still be standing at 5 ft 10 inches compared to Jon Jones, who is 6 ft 4 inches tall. With a reach of 84.5 inches, Jon Jones will also have a 14.5-inch advantage over Khabib's reach of 70 inches.
Belal Muhammad set to fight Leon Edwards in March
Belal Muhammad, who is currently on a 4-fight win streak in the UFC, will face the toughest challenge of his career till date when he faces Leon Edwards in a welterweight bout at UFC Fight Night 187.
After Rocky's original opponent Khamzat Chimaev pulled out of the fight for a second time due to the aftereffects of contracting COVID-19, Belal Muhammad stepped in for the UFC's card on March 13th.
Belal Muhammad will finally get his chance to face a ranked fighter when he faces Edwards. He has been calling out a number of fighters for the past few months but was unsuccessful in landing a ranked fighter as his opponent.
In a recent interview with ESPN MMA, Belal Muhammad revealed it has been a challenge for him to get a top-15 opponent as fighters kept turning him down.