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Khabib Nurmagomedov shuts down comparisons to Charles Oliveira: ‘Nobody ever touched my face’

“Nobody ever touched my face, and all the time he go down, people cannot compare me vs. Charles Oliveira.”

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Former Russian MMA fighter Khabib Nurmagomedov press conference in Moscow
UFC lightweight GOAT Khabib Nurmagomedov speaks to reporters at a press conference in Moscow, Russia on Dec. 13, 2021.
Photo by Sefa Karacan/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Khabib Nurmagomedov has only been retired one year but some fans think Charles Oliveira is already well on his way to surpassing him as the UFC lightweight G.O.A.T.

Oliveira, 32, is on an eleven-fight winning streak with recent stoppage victories over Michael Chandler, Dustin Poirier, and Justin Gaethje. He also holds multiple UFC records including the most submissions (16) and the most finishes (19) in the promotion’s history, so it’s easy to see why he is held in such high regard and why so many fans think the Brazilian is destined for G.O.A.T. status.

Oliveira is the self-proclaimed “chosen one”, after all, but Nurmagomedov would like to remind everyone that the 32-year-old is far from invincible and has accumulated a lot of damage in his last few fights.

The fact that Oliveira gets hit, while Khabib rarely left the Octagon with a bruise on his face, is the key difference between the two fighters and why Nurmagomedov feels comparisons are uncalled for.

“He impresses me a little bit, but every fight he goes down,” Khabib said during a recent interview with ESPN’s Brett Okamoto (h/t BJPenn.com). “This is a little bit bad for him, every fight he goes down, a couple times. Last fight was how many, two, three knockdown? With Michael Chandler, with Dustin Poirier, with Justin Gaethje, he always goes down.”

“Nobody ever touched my face, and all the time he go down, people cannot compare me vs Charles Oliveira, he tap [lost] in UFC eight times, please, come on. Jim Miller, Anthony Pettis, Holloway, Felder, like, it was Charles Oliveira, it was not Khabib. If you wanna deserve name like greatest lightweight, you have to beat Islam, Beneil, couple more guys, and then we can talk.”

There’s also the fact that Khabib retired undefeated while, as the Russian stated above, Oliveira is no stranger to defeat and has been finished several times throughout his UFC career.

Nurmagomedov may feel the comparisons are unwarranted but there’s no denying both men are tremendously talented and will go down in history as two of the greatest fighters to ever compete in the UFC.

Oliveira was stripped of the lightweight title after missing weight by half a pound at the UFC 274 weigh-ins but went on to defeat Justin Gaethje via first-round submission. The Chute Boxe fighter is currently #1 in the UFC lightweight rankings and #4 in the UFC men’s pound-for-pound rankings.