Former UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov has revealed who he thinks is the second best lightweight fighter of all time.
Khabib retired from the sport after successfully defending his title against Justin Gaethje via second round submission at UFC 254 last October. The fact that he ended his career undefeated, on the back of dominant wins over top tier fighters like Gaethje, Dustin Poirier, and Conor McGregor, has many believing that he’s the lightweight GOAT.
The Second Best Lightweight
During a media event in Russia (as transcribed by LowKick MMA), Khabib was asked for his opinion on who he thinks is second to him in the lightweight GOAT debate.
“I think the impersonation of the lightweight division was BJ Penn for a long time,” Khabib said. “I can explain. Despite of many defeats, he won the lightweight title, defended it and move up to the welterweights, and won the belt there. Then he had lost to one of the best fighters ever, Georges St-Pierre. BJ Penn, I think we can put him out there.”
Penn, a former two division UFC champion, is considered by many as one of the greatest fighters of all time, despite his current run of seven defeats. The Hawaiian holds wins over the likes of Din Thomas, Caol Uno, Matt Serra, Takanori Gomi, Matt Hughes (x2), Duane Ludwig, Renzo Gracie, Joe Stevenson, Sean Sherk, Diego Sanchez, and Kenny Florian.
He’s also tied with Khabib, Benson Henderson and Frankie Edgar for the most title defences in UFC lightweight history, which is three.
Where do you rank Khabib Nurmagomedov and BJ Penn in the lightweight GOAT debate?