Covington: Oliveira’s Win Over Poirier Delegitimised Khabib’s Legacy

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UFC, Colby Covington
Image courtesy of the UFC

Colby Covington believes UFC lightweight champion Charles Oliveira’s win over Dustin Poirier at UFC 269 has delegitimised Khabib Nurmagomedov’s legacy.

Oliveira bounced back after a tough first round to dominate Poirier in the second round, before finishing him by a rear-naked choke in the third round at UFC 269 to make his first successful title defence. In his title unification bout against Khabib at UFC 242, ‘The Diamond’ also lost by a rear-naked choke submission in the third round.

‘Do Bronx’ has solidified his place as the best lightweight on the planet with his win over Poirier, and Covington believes the fact that the Louisiana native was beaten by both Oliveira and Khabib in a similar way diminishes the Dagestani’s legacy.

Delegitimised His Legacy

Speaking to Submission Radio (as transcribed by MMA News), Covington said that Oliveira’s win over Poirier has delegitimised Khabib’s legacy.

“It definitely kinda delegitimises his (Khabib) legacy,” Covington said. “He never really fought a high, high-level wrestler that could challenge him, that was good, in both areas of striking and wrestling, and submissions and defensive wrestling. So, you know, there’s always been doubts about Khabib’s legacy. He had an interesting route and he took some time off in-between his career. He got good matchups, you know, people that didn’t know how to wrestle. Even, a lot of people thought that he lost to a guy I used to train with all the time, Tibau, Gleison Tibau. He won a split decision over him but a lot of people thought he lost that fight.

“I definitely think that kinda puts a dampener into Khabib’s legacy. That guy’s (Poirier) going out there and getting submitted just like you did to him; the same exact way. So how would that matchup go with him and the Brazilian?”

Covington most recently challenged Kamaru Usman for the welterweight title at UFC 268, where he lost by unanimous decision in a closely-contested fight.

Khabib retired after successfully defending his lightweight title for the third time by submitting Justin Gaethje in the second round at UFC 254.

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