Khabib Nurmagomedov handpicks three opponents he really wanted to face prior to retirement

Former UFC lightweight Khabib Nurmagomedov recently took part in an interview for Class A Events at Meridian Hall in Toronto on November 20.

The conversation with Khabib covered a wide range of subjects, including Islam Makhachev’s impending bout, Khabib’s UFC coaching history, and much more. The UFC Hall of Famer was asked to choose three opponents that he has always wanted to face when competing in combat sports at one point in the discussion.

In response, Nurmagomedov said that he intended to hold the Tony Ferguson bout. However, it was repeatedly postponed due to unforeseen events:

“Of course it was Tony Ferguson for sure. But this has never happened…”

In addition to Ferguson, the former UFC champion revealed a desire to square off with Georges St-Pierre. Speaking of GSP, Nurmagomedov said that the Canadian legend serves as his MMA role model.

Khabib also disclosed that he and his late father saw the former UFC welterweight champion compete back when he was an amateur.

Khabib told,

“In my mind? yes it was couple fighters, it was couple fighters for sure… Okay GSP, if you guys want but I respect this guy a lot you know. It’s like I grew up with his fights, you know? when he was… when he became UFC Champion 2007 and I was like… I was don’t [not] beginning my professional career. I was amateur fighter and I watched a lot his fights with my father. And you know, it’s like… GSP was like role model in MMA for me…”

Another match that Khabib Nurmagomedov hoped he could have had throughout his career in the cage was against Anthony Pettis.

He said, “And I think it was 2014-15 when Anthony Pettis was UFC Champion… like that time I really really want to fight this guy.”

Nurmagomedov was also quoted saying he rates Volkanovski higher than former Lightweight champion Charles Oliveira:

“I told Islam, even before the last fight…Volkanovski is going to be tougher than Charles Oliveira,” Nurmagomedov said.

“He has good experience. Charles and Volkanovski have the same experience…but if you talk about fighting IQ and big heart, I think Volkanovski is better than him. I think Volkanovski is going to be a tougher opponent for Islam than Charles Oliveira. But who cares? We’re gonna finish this guy.”