Former UFC champion Demetrious Johnson thinks Khabib Nurmagomedov would have lost if he hadn’t retired.
On a recent episode of the MMA Hour with Ariel Helwani, Johnson discussed the topic and noted that the Dagestani emerged from his MMA career relatively unscathed.
“I think, the more time you spend in this sport, your chances [of losing] get higher, for you getting knocked out or anything like that. You know, Khabib got out unscathed, 29-0?”
” he would have lost one of these, he would have lost.”
Since leaving the MMA scene with a professional record of 29-0 and a UFC record of 13-0, Khabib has been active as a promoter of Eagle FC which he owns and coaching.
A significant array of athletes, including Charles Oliveira and Anthony Pettis, have lately questioned Khabib’s legacy. According to UFC President Dana White, Khabib retired too soon. White was replying to a fan’s question on GQ Sports on whether Khabib should be considered the Greatest of All Time in the UFC.
“It’s so hard. Obviously, he is talented enough. You know, who knows what he could accomplish, but he retired too early. I mean Jon Jones is probably gonna fight at heavyweight this year. You know, whatever you think about Jon, it’s hard not to call him a GOAT.”
“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.”
Dana even omitted Khabib from his list of the best five fighters of all time, which also featured Ronda Rousey and Conor McGregor.
After his father passed away when he was 32, Khabib announced his retirement and said he would never return to the octagon without him.
Since his retirement, Khabib has had several calls to unretire. However, he has chosen to stand by his choice and is now concentrating on elevating Islam Makhachev to the top of the UFC Lightweight division.