Khabib Nurmagomedov Thinks Max Holloway Hasn’t Hit His Prime Yet

Kattar Max Holloway
Jeff Bottari

It’s fair to say Khabib Nurmagomedov was impressed by the performance of Max Holloway.

Holloway enjoyed arguably the best performance of his career after a lopsided unanimous decision win over Calvin Kattar in the UFC Fight Island 7 headliner this past weekend.

Many observers likened the performance to that of Muhammad Ali as calls increased for a trilogy fight with current UFC featherweight champion Alexander Volkanovski.

And as far as Nurmagomedov is concerned, Holloway — who just turned 29 — is yet to reach his prime.

“I think about Max, he is already one of the best to ever compete in MMA,” Nurmagomedov said in a recent interview on Fight Island (via Middle Easy). “He’s one of the best, and maybe, probably he is the best featherweights of all time. I think it was his best performance. And when we look at Max, he’s not old. He has a lot of fights in the UFC, but he’s how old? 28, 29 something like this?

READ MORE:  Exclusive: Philipe Lins previews his fight against Maxim Grishin: “I'm gonna ride through this matchup”

“I think his prime time is coming. It’s not come yet. I think this year or maybe next year is going to be his prime time. It was not when he was champion. I think his time is going to come, he’s going stay focused, doing everything that he has to do… I think his time’s going to come maybe the end of this year, maybe next year. It was his best performance. I believe he has potential to be more of a great fighter than he already is.”

READ MORE:  Eddie Alvarez announces free agency as he departs from ONE, PFL hint at interest

There was one moment in the fight where Holloway was talking to the commentary team and declared himself the best boxer in the UFC all while avoiding strikes from a battered Kattar.

So what did Nurmagomedov think of Holloway’s claim?

“About the best boxer, I’m not sure, but he’s one of the best for sure, and his cardio, I think he has very good cardio, very good chin, and now he’s experienced,” Nurmagomedov added. “It was his best performance, but in the future he has a couple years to show it and maybe be the best fighter of all time.”

READ MORE:  Cory Sandhagen reflects on Song Yadong post fight: “He’s kind of a freaky dude”

Was Nurmagomedov impressed enough to come out of retirement and potentially face Holloway? That remains to be seen for now.

Do you agree with Nurmagomedov about Holloway still being yet to reach his prime?

Experienced freelance sports writer covering mixed martial arts (MMA) extensively for the last few years. Likes a good body shot.