Just In Dana White believes Khabib Nurmagomedov is ‘a couple fights away from potential GOAT status’ MMA Life

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ABU DHABI – Khabib Nurmagomedov’s performance in the UFC 242 main event impressed a lot of people, but maybe none more so than UFC president Dana White.

After the bout, White spoke to the media and praised Nurmagomedov (28-0 MMA, 12-0 UFC) for the dominant showing he put on against Dustin Poirier (25-6 MMA, 17-5 UFC). The Russian champion retained his title after a third-round rear-naked choke submission victory.

White said he was particularly awe-inspired by Nurmagomedov’s ability to wiggle his way out of a Poirier guillotine attempt.

“He looked unbelievable,” White said at the UFC 242 post-fight news conference. “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.”

With the victory, Nurmagomedov clinched his unprecedented 28th straight victory as a professional. In doing so, he became the first fighter since former middleweight champ Anderson Silva to win his first 12 UFC bouts.

Just how special of a fighter is Nurmagomedov in the eyes of the UFC president? White believes with a few more wins, a “greatest of all time” label would be justified.

“(He’s) pretty special, man,” White said. “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 didn’t speak on his GOAT status after the fight, but he did indicate he hopes to be atop the UFC’s pound-for-pound list in the next rankings update.

“Give me just respect, ” Nurmagomedov said. “Put me on No. 1 pound-for-pound fighter next week, because I think I deserve this. Because I dominate, with all my opponents. I’m undefeated. I think I deserve some respect.”

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