Ariel Helwani says Khabib’s MMA GOAT status “debatable”

While many people feel that Khabib Nurmagomedov was one of the most dominant personalities in UFC, many industry insiders say he falls short in the ‘Greatest of all time’ conversation.

The latest to come out and debate it is MMA Hour‘s Ariel Helwani.

Helwanithinks Khabib Nurmagomedov’s reputation as the greatest of all time is debatable because he only defended the lightweight title twice in his career.

Helwani said:

“I think that Khabib’s GOAT status is arguable. This is not me getting into politics or any commentary of how I feel about anything… If you think that his current GOAT status given his current record isn’t debatable, you’re insane. Only three title defenses, you’re all out of your minds.”

“If everyone is available, you cannot compare his resume to Jon Jones’ resume. You can’t compare what he did to what Anderson Silva did, you cannot. You can’t compare what he did to Georges St-Pierre, you can’t compare it to even DC.”

“I’m sorry. Why is this even a question? … I’m not saying he can’t be included, I’m not saying it’s definitive, just look at the numbers, look at the resume.”

Another person who left out Khabib from their short list for greatest of all time is Dana White. A while back White shared:

“It’s so hard. Obviously, he is talented enough. You know, who knows what he could accomplish, but he tired too early.”

“You know, whatever you think about Jon, it’s hard not to call him a G.O.A.T. Believe me when I tell you, I have tried to convince Khabib to come out of retirement.”

“We will see what happens over the next couple of years. But I feel like he left in his prime. I mean, look at what he did to Justin Gaethje right before he retired.”

Kamaru Usman also left out Khabib out of his list of greatest of all time:

“In this sport, I think, uh… This is based on preferences. Different guys have different preferences. I think skill-wise and technique-wise… what these guys were able to show… I think Anderson Silva, Jon Jones… What these guys were able to bring… Uh, Georges St-Pierre. I would even say Dominick Cruz.”

The only major name to put Khabib on their GOAT’s list is his longtime friend Daniel Cormier. Cormier published a highly questionable list of 5 all time greats from both boxing and MMA and ranked Khabib higher than Muhammad Ali.

Cormier and Stephen A. Smith revealed the nugget on ESPN's First Take. 
Cormier and Stephen A. Smith revealed the nugget on ESPN’s First Take.

Fans went into a frenzy when First Take shared DC’s top five on social media.

“Arguably the worst list I have ever seen,” one individual said.

Another person added: “Khabib over Jon Jones? LOL that’s just preposterous.”

A third person just said, “Clown.”

“Muhammad Ali below Khabib is the most embarrassing take i’ve ever heard in the history of sports.”

Stephen A was unable to believe what he was hearing.

He yelled, “Number three?! Muhammad Ali?! Oh my lord, oh my lord. Are you kidding me?”