Khabib Nurmagomedov explains why he deserved to be ranked ahead of Jon Jones in the UFC men’s pound-for-pound rankings on Oct. 24, 2020.
Khabib Nurmagomedov had previously hailed Jon Jones as the No. 1 pound-for-pound fighter in the world, but that all changed on October 24, 2020, when Nurmagomedov submitted Justin Gaethje in the UFC 254 main event to defend his lightweight title and extend his undefeated record to a perfect 29-0.
At that moment, Khabib says, he was on top of the world and deserved to overtake Jones, who had previously been busted for ‘doping’, in the UFC P4P rankings.
“For me, 30-0, 29-0, 15-0, it’s nothing,” Khabib told ESPN in a recent interview (h/t MMA Fighting). “I fight, and I show the world from nowhere I come here and take over everything. At that moment [UFC 254], I was #1 pound-for-pound fighter. Nobody can say nothing. It was not Kamaru Usman. It was not Jon Jones, who fight very close fights with all these light heavyweights, like Ovince Saint Preux, Thiago [Santos], Anthony Smith, Dominick Reyes. These guys, [Jones] showed them very bad performance—and everything (that) happened with doping.”
“But what about me? I (mauled) everybody. And at that moment, 24th October, 2020, I was on the top. After that, what (happens), I don’t care”.
Khabib has since been removed from the rankings following his retirement and Jones has resumed his position at the top. The Dagestani revealed that he was recently offered a big money fight against Georges St-Pierre but turned it down as a matter of principle. He is considered one of the most dominant mixed martial artists to have ever fought in the UFC and will be remembered as one of the best lightweight champions of all time.