Ever since Khabib Nurmagomedov  ran through Justin Gaethje at UFC 254 and announced he’s retired, undefeated, plenty of folks have been claiming he’s the greatest of all time. Well, clearly that narrative isn’t sitting too well with another GOAT contender, Jon Jones .
Jones asks Khabib GOAT proponents if they’re “joking”
As you surely know, Khabib moved his record to 29-0 at UFC 254, by choking out Gaethje in the second round. Aside from a few kicks and hooks Gaethje landed, it was another, decisive win for Khabib, against an opponent many argued would be his toughest test to date.
Well, after the impressive win, Khabib announced he’s walking away from fighting. He also called on the media panel who determine the promotion’s pound-for-pound rankings to put him in the #1 spot.
Following the awe-inspiring win, there was an outpouring of support and praise for Khabib. Not only that, there was no shortage of claims shared out that the undefeated lightweight is the GOAT.
“I’m talking to all you Khabib fans out there,” Jones said. “Fifteen world titles to your guy’s four. And you guys really talking about who’s the best fighter ever? You guys are joking, right? Fifteen to four, are you guys kidding me?”
“The only person who could possibly come back and challenge my record and what I’ve done in the UFC is possibly Georges St-Pierre,” Jones said. “He’d have to come back and win two championship fights to tie me. And I’m not even retired yet. I’m 33 years old. We’ve got a whole other chapter to go through. You guys are nuts. I love you guys so much. I hope you guys all have a great day.”
Now, aside from the timing of all this, when a lot of people are trying to celebrate Khabib’s career rather than dissect it, it is an interesting debate.
It is true that Khabib has been more dominant in his UFC run. After all, Jones narrowly won his last two bouts against Thiago Santos and Dominick Reyes, and a lot of people believe Reyes actually won their fight.
Jones was also pushed hard by Alexander Gustafsson in their first fight, and Daniel Cormier also provided him some stiff competition, particularly in their first bout.
Some observers also point to Jones’ USADA flags, as why his record is tainted. Even though there are a lot of people who concluded Jones didn’t knowingly take any performance enhancing drugs.
That said, Khabib didn’t fight as many times as Jones has in the UFC, and it’s true ‘Bones’ has won significantly more championship bouts than Nurmagomedov.
It’s also true that Jones has the opportunity now to further entrench his status as the GOAT.