Former undisputed UFC lightweight champion, Khabib Nurmagomedov has received some high praise from a former two-weight gold holder, Georges St-Pierre — who has labeled the Dagestan native as the “scariest” pound-for-pound fighter in the world.
Officially vacating his lightweight championship following his surprising retirement from professional mixed martial arts back in October of last year, Khabib successfully unified the lightweight titles against then-interim gold holder, Justin Gaethje on ‘Fight Island’.
Announcing his retirement from the sport with immediate effect in quite surprising fashion, Khabib cited a recent promise he had made to his mother following the sad passing of his Sambo coach and father, Abdulmanap earlier that year as his reason for walking away from the sport.
During his post-fight interview with UFC play-by-play lead, Jon Anik, Khabib asked the UFC for one more thing; placement at the top of the official pound-for-pound ranks when the promotion updated their official rankings.
Obliging, the UFC placed Khabib atop the official pound-for-pound pile, and following some transparent calls from UFC president, Dana White for the undefeated phenom to return to the Octagon for one more fight, Khabib officially vacated his championship last month, with surging Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu player, Charles Oliveira set to face off with Michael Chandler for the vacant title at UFC 262 on May 15.
Speaking on a recent appearance on The Joe Rogan Experience with UFC colour-commentator, Joe Rogan, former middleweight and welterweight titleholder, St-Pierre explained how he believes Khabib is the “scariest” pound-for-pound fighter in mixed martial arts.
“To me, Khabib (Nurmagomedov) is the scariest to do it,” St-Pierre said. “Because he’s beating you down. He’s not only beating you, but he’s breaking you mentally. And for me, that is worse than anything. For me, he’s the scariest one pound-for-pound.“
Whilst constantly linked with a ‘superfight’ opposite Khabib in a comeback to the Octagon, particularly after the former’s win over Gaethje, St-Pierre detailed his prior interest in a potential clash with the American Kickboxing Academy mainstay, however, maintains his career is over as well.
“I would have been (interested in fighting Khabib),” St-Pierre said. “But it’s over now. I was done three-years ago.“
“I wanted to come back for Khabib because for a fighter, the scariest thing sometimes is the most exciting thing to do. And (Khabib) is a problem that has never been solved before. But to come back for another guy and to fight for another title, then if I win it’s going to be another one and another one. I’m going to turn 40-years-old, and I hate to admit it Joe (Rogan), and I refuse to accept it, but sometimes I feel like my best years might be behind me.” (H/T BJPENN.com)
Calling time on his career following a one-fight comeback, St-Pierre headlined UFC 217 back in November of 2017 against then-middleweight champion, Michael Bisping — scoring his second title under the UFC’s banner via a third-round rear-naked choke.