Khabib Nurmagomedov is no stranger to overcoming hurdles. The current Lightweight champion remains undefeated in the UFC, beating the likes of Conor McGregor and Dustin Poirier in the process.
Nurmagomedov has always put legacy in front of money. Khabib prides himself on his accomplishments in the octagon, aiming to reach 30-0 as a professional.
His biggest challenge awaits in the form of knock out specialist Justin Gaethje. With a background in American wrestling, Gaethje could be the toughest test of Nurmagomedov’s career so far.
“If you want to build yourself and become a legend, you have to take risks,” Khabib told Brett Okamoto of ESPN.
Khabib stressed that when you have an opponent, the risk factor is what intrigues them. “When you fight somebody, it has to be risky,” Khabib explained, “People like to talk, will he lose or will he win?.”
This risk factor is what draws the fans in Khabib’s opinion. Any fight that is not competitive does not excite the fan base, and the fight is generally overlooked.
Khabib went on to bring up Tyson Fury as a good example. “Why did Tyson Fury become big?,” the Dagestani native said. “He (Fury) took the Klitschko fight and beat him,” Khabib stated that the fans had favored Wladimir Klitschko to get the win.
“He fought Wilder in a draw, then he fought Wilder again,” Khabib said. “People talked about Wilder knocking him out, but he came and smashed Wilder in a dominant win”
“That is why he (Fury) became famous. You have to take on a challenge,” the UFC lightweight champion concluded.
The late Abdulmanap Nurmagomedov had a plan for his son. He wanted Khabib to fight GSP in his last fight and retire undefeated in the sport at 30-0. This was ‘Father’s Plan’ as it is called.
Khabib, currently 28-0, sees the beauty in retiring at the top of his game, immortalizing his accomplishments. However, the path to greatness is not easy. This weekend, Khabib faces one of the biggest challenges for his legacy in knockout specialist, Justin Gaethje.
Before Khabib can get to face the legendary Georges St-Pierre and become 30-0, he will have to defeat Justin Gaethje at UFC 254.
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