MLB Star Josh Donaldson Calls Khabib Nurmagomedov- “One of the Most Boring Fighters in the World”

Published 10/28/2020, 1:56 AM EDT
ABU DHABI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES – OCTOBER 25: (R-L) Khabib Nurmagomedov of Russia takes down Justin Gaethje in their lightweight title bout during the UFC 254 event on October 25, 2020 on UFC Fight Island, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. (Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)


MLB stars Josh Donaldson and Carlos Correa from the Minnesota Twins and Houston Astros respectively spoke to ESPN’s Ariel Helwani. The aforementioned baseball players are avid MMA fans and came out to discuss the massive pay-per-view that was UFC 254. Additionally, Donaldson went on to share his view on lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov that certainly took fans by surprise.

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‘The Eagle’ has caused major debate in the MMA community as to his position in the sport as a whole. He retired with an unblemished record of 29-0 and currently sits on the pole position of the pound-for-pound rankings. Moreover, his win at UFC 254 over Justin Gaethje was an eye-opener for the casual fans as to his incredible skill and ability.

Josh Donaldson goes after Khabib Nurmagomedov

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The Twins’ star, Donaldson did a deep dive into why he believed that Khabib Nurmagomedov was a boring fighter. He compared Khabib’s style to Jon Jones’ and was clearly in favor of striking over dominant grappling in MMA. His take came as a surprise to both Ariel Helwani as well as Carlos Correa.

Donaldson said, “If Jon Jones wanted to be a boring fighter, he would go and wrestle guys down and take them down and submit them if he wanted to. I think Khabib is one of the most boring fighters in the world. I’m on record as saying right now he’s one of the most boring fighters. Because this is why — he is dominant on the ground. You win. I’m agreeing with you.”

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“He is the most dominant on-the-ground fighter in the world. But Khabib, although he’s touching Gaethje, he never hurt Gaethje on his feet. And when you’re talking about Gaethje and you’re talking about Ferguson, Tony Ferguson took a lot of punishment, but they were on the feet. None of them were trying to threaten to the ground.”

ABU DHABI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES – OCTOBER 25: (R-L) Justin Gaethje kicks Khabib Nurmagomedov of Russia in their lightweight title bout during the UFC 254 event on October 25, 2020 on UFC Fight Island, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. (Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)

Khabib’s smothering grappling game and lethal ground strikes entertain due to the intensity he brings. The Dagestani fighter mounts vigorous offense from the get-go and hasn’t shown inactivity on the ground. Not to mention, he’s finished three of the best lightweights on the planet via submission in his last three outings.

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The perception that he’s a boring fighter could stem from the fact that his early career saw plenty of decisions. However, the Khabib who fought at UFC 254 is debatably one of the most exciting fighters to watch.

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Darryl Pinto

1450 articles

Darryl Pinto is a senior MMA writer at EssentiallySports. He is currently pursuing his graduate degree in Mass Media (with a specialization in Journalism) out of Xavier’s College and has a year's experience in his current role. Darryl specializes in predictions, reporting, and covering UFC events live.

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