Khabib Overtakes Jon Jones as UFC's No. 1 P4P Fighter After Win vs. Gaethje

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistOctober 27, 2020

Russian UFC fighter Khabib Nurmagomedov, speaks after wining against UFC fighter Dustin Poirier, of Lafayette, La., during Lightweight title mixed martial arts bout at UFC 242, in Yas Mall in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, Saturday , Sept.7 2019. (AP Photo/ Mahmoud Khaled)
Mahmoud Khaled/Associated Press

There's a new star officially recognized as the top pound-for-pound fighter in UFC.

Voters placed Khabib Nurmagomedov into the top spot ahead of Jon Jones in the UFC rankings on the heels of Nurmagomedov's second-round submission of Justin Gaethje at UFC 254.

Khabib reflected on the achievement in an Instagram post.

"It was work of my life, I never got anything easy, and nothing was given to me because I'm nice guy," he said. "Hard work, hope for Allah and patience, this three ingredient helps me to get successful, and of course, control and advises from my Father, who invested in me a lot of time and work."

During his interview in the Octagon after defeating Gaethje, Khabib announced he was retiring from MMA.

That naturally led to discussion about where the 32-year-old sits among the all-time greats. He's 29-0 across all companies and 13-0 since making his UFC debut in January 2012. He claimed the lightweight championship with a victory over Al Iaquinta at UFC 223 in April 2018 and promptly beat Conor McGregor, Dustin Poirier and Gaethje all via submission.

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Jones weighed in on the greatest of all time discussion in an Instagram video and put his resume up against that of Nurmagomedov (via MMA Fighting's Steven Marrocco):

"I'm talking to all you Khabib fans out there. Fifteen world titles to your guys' four, and you guys are really talking about who's the best fighter ever? You guys are joking, right? Fifteen to four. Are you guys kidding me? The only person that could possibly come back and challenge my record and what I've done in the UFC is possibly Georges St-Pierre. He would have to come back and win two championship fights to tie me, and I'm not even retired yet. I'm 33 years old. I've got a whole nother chapter to go through."

The UFC's voters obviously disagree, at least for the time being.

That will change at some point down the road when the company formally recognizes Nurmagomedov has retired. Jones remains an active fighter, too, though his future is somewhat uncertain after he relinquished the light heavyweight title with aims of moving up to the heavyweight division.