UFC 247: Jon Jones Laughs, Before Responding to Argument Khabib Nurmagomedov’s Best P4P Fighter Ever

Jon Jones acknowledged that Khabib Nurmagomedov is an amazing fighter, but during a recent interview, "Bones" made it clear he thinks he's a better martial artist than his fellow UFC champ.

Khabib Nurmagomedov has steadily climbed the UFC’s pound-for-pound rankings and currently sits one spot behind Jon Jones at #2. But, if you tried to make the argument to Jones that the lightweight champ should be number one, and that he’s the best fighter to date, it seems clear that “Bones” would shoot you down.

Jon Jones
Image Credit: UFC / YouTube

Jones laughs at Max Kellerman, before praising Khabib

Ahead of Jones fight this Saturday at UFC 247 with Dominick Reyes, the light-heavyweight champ appeared on ESPN’s “First Take”. During the segment, Max Kellerman – who is known for his boxing analysis – told Jones the following (quotes via MMA Junkie):

“If someone asked me, Jon, straight up: ‘Who’s the best pound-for-pound mixed martial artist you’ve ever seen?’ At this moment, and I know it’s still early, I’d say Nurmagomedov based on what I’ve seen so far. … What do you think of Khabib right now?”

Jones laughed, pretty loud, and then proceeded to say this:

“I think Khabib’s an amazing fighter. I think he’s done a great job representing the UFC. He’s a great ambassador for our sport. But if you were to ask some MMA experts about myself and Khabib, I think most people would be able to tell our resumes are completely different. So many world champions under my belt that I’ve defeated. Khabib, a lot of his victories are against a lot of people that are relatively unknown, (whereas) I’ve been fighting legends since I was a young man in my early 20s.”

Kellerman conceded that Jones’ resume is more accomplished than Nurmagomedov’s, and proceeded to say he was referring to the “eyeball test”. Jones asked for clarification and Kellerman said this:

“Nurmagomedov in a sport where it seemed early on that the one whose base is the ground game usually has the advantage vs. the guy who’s best known for striking is the best example I could think of the guy whose ground game is ridiculous and then could also stand up.”

That prompted Jones to say the following:

“Right. Yeah, his stand-up game is really not much to write home about. I really don’t want to insult my fellow martial artists. I don’t want to insult these guys. I’m happy for everyone. Like I said, some guys are more popular. Some guys make more money. It’s always gonna be kind of an opinion thing, but by the time I leave this sport I don’t think there’s gonna be much of an argument.”

But did Jones insult Khabib?

Now look, most hardcore fans and knowledgeable observers would acknowledge that Jones is indeed, a better well-rounded fighter than Khabib. Nurmagomedov’s boxing has improved a lot over the years, but it’s his wrestling and top game that make him one the best ever. Jones isn’t known for his power, but he’s ridiculously good in almost every area of fighting.

All that said, some might argue that laughing – pretty loud – before stating someone’s stand-up isn’t “much to write home about”, is bit of an insult no? Even if it wasn’t intentional?

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