Yesterday afternoon, in the main event of UFC 254, Khabib Nurmagomedov defended his UFC lightweight title versus Justin Gaethje, advanced his record to an incredible 29-0 and then announced he was retiring from the sport. With his undefeated exit from MMA, ‘The Eagle’ has planted his claim for the title of Greatest Of All Time.
The debate over Nurmagomedov’s G.O.A.T standings will fill column inches for years to come. However, another fighter whose name is a feature at the top of those pieces, is already campaigning against the notion that last night’s victor should ranked the highest.
While the world was congratulating Nurmagomedov, former UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones popped up on twitter to first salute Nurmagomedov’s achievement and then share his skepticism that Nurmagomedov’s career has been more impressive than his own.
“Khabib just proved why he is the champ.” was Jones’ first comments on the matter. Followed by his congratulations “for an outstanding career.”
I want to congratulate Khabib for an outstanding career. I know he made his father along with millions of fans around the world incredibly proud today. May God continue to bless him on his journey.— BONY (@JonnyBones) October 24, 2020
Jones then hinted that he would concede that Nurmagomedov was the best in the business, but only on one condition.
Until I take that heavily crown, I grant you the spot. Enjoy Champ— BONY (@JonnyBones) October 24, 2020
“Until I take that heavily crown, I grant you the spot. Enjoy Champ,” wrote Jones — likely referring to his hopes of capturing the UFC heavyweight title.
Jones’ messaging then shifted towards explaining why he, and not Nurmagomedov, is deserving of the G.O.A.T designation.
15 world titles, numbers don’t lie.— BONY (@JonnyBones) October 24, 2020
Definitely a powerful moment, but my logic is definitely not clouded.— BONY (@JonnyBones) October 24, 2020
“15 world titles, numbers don’t lie,” wrote Jones, followed by: “Definitely a powerful moment, but my logic is definitely not clouded.”
Jones further explained his position when a fan accused him of being “salty”.
“Not salty at all,” tweeted Jones. “I really do respect Khabib, I honor the type of man he is. But being the best is earned not given. Unfortunately four title fights aint it, no matter how much we all like em”.
Not salty at all, I really do respect Khabib, I honor the type of man he is. But being the best is earned not given. Unfortunately four title fights aint it, no matter how much we all like em https://t.co/eDr454nsTa— BONY (@JonnyBones) October 25, 2020
Jones last competed in February, at UFC 247. There he defeated Dominick Reyes to defend the UFC light heavyweight title. Following that unanimous decision victory Jones announced that he was going to vacate his 205 lb title. Since then the 26-1 (1) Jones has been teasing a move to heavyweight, while also beefing with current UFC middleweight champion Israel Adesanya.