Conor McGregor explains why rival Khabib Nurmagomedov was "good not great"

Nurmagomedov, who defeated McGregor by submission in their 2018 meeting, is widely considered by MMA experts to be one of the greatest fighters to have ever lived

Conor McGregor believes Khabib Nurmagomedov was “good, not great” and insisted the Russian’s legacy was “toast”.

The Irishman shared a bitter rivalry with Nurmagomedov in the latter part of the Russian’s career, and their 2018 fight at UFC 229 remains the highest-selling fight in the company’s history.

McGregor is still active in the promotion, fighting twice this year before suffering a brutal broken leg in his trilogy bout with Dustin Poirier in July.

And he feels that his rival’s early retirement at the age of just 32, coupled with his lack of all-round ability aside from his elite-level sambo and wrestling made him simply a “good fighter”.

McGregor made the comments during a Twitter debate with documentarian Will Harris, who produces the Anatomy of a Fighter series.

When Harris asked McGregor if he felt Nurmagomedov was just a “good” fighter, the Irishman replied: “Yes, good, not great.”

Conor McGregor and Khabib Nurmagomedov shared a bitter rivalry


Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)

“Low KO rate,” McGregor continued. “Can’t kick whatsoever. Never moved up in weight class despite almost dying trying to make weight. Pulled out of fights multiple times. Retired early.

“All of which lead him to a good fighter, not great. He’d a good few months, that’s it.”

Nurmagomedov was scheduled to face top lightweight Tony Ferguson on four separate occasions, and pulled out of two with injuries and weight cut issues which saw him hospitalised.

They were set to finally meet in April of last year before the onset of the coronavirus pandemic, but when the bout was rescheduled amidst global shutdowns, he opted to stay in Russia with his father, who was in ill health and passed away just months later.

Harris responded to McGregor’s reasoning by saying that he disagrees about legacy, before sharing photos that showed McGregor after struggling to make weight for a featherweight contest.

But the Irishman argued that he never missed weight, and jumped two weight classes from the one in which he first became champion.

“Deaths door? That’s your side,” he responded to Harris’ assertion that he struggled to make the 145lb featherweight limit during his initial UFC run.

“I never missed weight or pulled out once! And I ran through the division in the process. Finishing with the fastest KO ever in a UFC world title fight. My weight rise was done flawlessly. “

Do you agree with Conor McGregor’s assessment of Khabib Nurmagomedov’s legendary career? Let us know in the comments section!

And he declared that Nurmagomedov’s legacy was “already toast”, having retired early from the sport following his mother’s request to stop fighting.

Nurmagomedov had an incredible 29-fight unbeaten career, where he won the UFC lightweight title and defended it against top contenders like McGregor, Poirier and Justin Gaethje.

Many believe him to be one of the greatest fighters of all time, despite McGregor’s protests.

But the Irishman is a legendary fighter in his own right, becoming the first man to win world titles in two divisions and hold them simultaneously in 2016 when he defeated Eddie Alvarez for the lightweight title.

He had defeated the seemingly indestructible Jose Aldo for the featherweight title within just 13 seconds less than a year prior, and made a quick foray to welterweight for two fights with Nate Diaz early in the year before moving down again to face Alvarez.

And while Nurmagomedov competed in the biggest-selling PPV in history against McGregor, his name doesn’t appear on the top-ten list again, while McGregor competed in all but two.

Nurmagomedov is now coaching and owns a promotion, Eagle Fighting Championships, which will debut in America next year.

McGregor is still competing, and will return to the octagon once his broken leg has healed next year.

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