Khabib Nurmagomedov put up a great show at UFC 242 coming back to the Octagon after a long while. He fought the interim Lightweight Champion, Dustin Poirier to defend his title and made his opponent tap out in the third round by a rear-naked choke.
The way Khabib dominated in the cage upon return undoubtedly impressed the fans. But if there was one person who was blown away the most, it is UFC President, Dana White. In a press conference following the fight, he called Nurmagomedov a “pretty special man” while speaking to the media.
MMA Junkie reported on what the president had to say.
White talks about Khabib’s dominance
While “The Eagle” dwarfed his opponent with his wrestling-based fighting for most of the bout, what impressed Dana White the most is how he got out of Poirier’s guillotine choke. He said that anyone else in his position would have a much harder time to free themselves from that kind of a hold.
“He looked unbelievable. Incredibly dominant, even though there was some drama in there when he was caught in that guillotine. A lot of people don’t get out of that thing. Khabib is so good he got out. Dustin had that thing in deep. Most people would have tapped and went to sleep to that guillotine. Props on him for getting out of that, too. He looked completely dominant tonight.”
This victory was Khabib’s 12th straight win in UFC and 28th in his entire MMA career. Dana White said that he believes that to achieve such a feat in a crowded division like Lightweight was something very special, and that a GOAT status is due for the Champion anytime soon.
“He’s a pretty special, man. I think he’s a couple fights away from potential GOAT status. To go undefeated for this long, for this many fights, especially in a division that’s that stacked, he’s looking down the barrel of a pretty special career.”
Nurmagomedov said nothing about the praises showered on him by the president, but what he demanded was respect as an undefeated fighter and a top spot in UFC’s pound-for-pound list.