Step aside Jorge Masvidal, because there’s a new ‘baddest motherf-cker’ in town.
UFC president Dana White has hailed Khabib Nurmagomedov the baddest fighter in the world following his submission victory over Justin Gaethje at UFC 254, which saw Nurmagomedov choke Gaethje unconscious with a triangle choke in the second round to retain his lightweight title.
“He is the baddest motherf**ker on the planet,” White at the UFC 254 post-fight press conference (h/t Damon Martin of MMA Fighting). “Let’s start with there’s like a feeling out process for two minutes and then it’s on. Those two were going. The pressure that Khabib puts on you is unbelievable. Literally didn’t respect his punching power. Just walked right into everything and did what he wanted. When he started to go for the armbar in the first round, I’m like ‘oh my god he’s going to try to pull off an armbar.’
“Then the second round, he keeps the pressure on. For that submission, he locks it up, gets it and chokes him out. Unbelievable.”
Khabib retired in the octagon following the fight and, although White thinks that’s the last we’ll see of Nurmagomedov in the UFC, the UFC president believes ‘The Eagle’ needs some more time to heal from the loss of his father, Abdulmanap Nurmagomedov, who tragically passed away earlier this year.
“Let him take some time off – let him heal,” White said. “Not physically, but emotionally heal with what he’s going through from him losing his father. I said, we’re all lucky we got to see what we saw tonight.”
White went on to label Nurmagomedov the ‘No. 1 pound-for-pound fighter in the world’ and one of, if not the, greatest fighters of all time.
“He is the No. 1 pound-for-pound fighter in the world, and you seriously have to start putting him up there at GOAT status with whoever else you think is the GOAT.”