Dana White leaves out Khabib from GOAT list – yet lists Conor McGregor

UFC president Dana White recently gave an interesting interview. Despite inducting Khabib Nurmagomedov into the UFC Hall of Fame – he’s not quite ready to grant him a spot on the prestigious ‘Greatest Of All Time’ UFC athletes list.

In the UFC, Nurmagomedov is regarded as one of the most successful athletes. He is sometimes regarded as the best lightweight in the history of the sport due to his 29-0 undefeated record in professional MMA. After the passing of his father, Nurmagomedov announced his retirement from the UFC at the height of his professional career.

Nurmagomedov’s record is often cited as an example of a padded record however the last couple of years of his tenure in the UFC cannot be questioned. Another fact that many don’t realize is that Nurmagomedov was among the best paid UFC athletes.

UFC president Dana White was questioned about whether or not the former lightweight champion ranks among the top athletes who have ever competed in the UFC during a recent visit to GQ  channel. White’s reaction was as follows:

“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.”

This isn’t the first time White has expressed this opinion. One possible explanation for his attitude is that he hasn’t given up on luring Nurmagomedov out of retirement. And while White might be directing these ‘below the belt’ line shots at Nurmagomedov it’s very hard to picture a scenario in which someone as radical in his beliefs and conviction relents. This isn’t a knock on Nurmagomedov – it’s a good lesson for every mixed martial artist. In the words of great Georges St. Pierre:

“Oh yeah. 100%. My advice would be make your money, cash out, and get the heck out of here! Preserve your health! Especially in our sport, it’s not a game. It’s very serious business. You can say you play basketball, you play hockey, but you don’t play (MMA). I always wanted to retire on top. Maybe I feel that I left money on the table when I retired, because I think could have win a couple other against the best in the world, but I had a mental shift…”