Khabib Nurmagomedov has frequently claimed that he’s “the Floyd Mayweather of MMA.”
Aback he said it best recently, at a columnist appointment in September, his UFC 229 adversary Conor McGregor disconnected him by biting his accent, cogent him to shut his mouth, and calling him “.”
Maybe now, afterwards Nurmagomedov destroyed McGregor in a ascendant four-round achievement at UFC 229, the allegory will be taken seriously.
Nurmagomedov’s acquiescence win over McGregor continued his amazing run to 27 wins from 27 fights — the best career wins afterwards a distinct accident in alloyed aggressive arts today, according to Activity Matrix.
The Russian is attention his best almanac and his affronted aura, aloof like Mayweather did aback he calm 50 wins from 50 able battle fights from 1996 to 2017.
But how agnate are they?
Well, both fighters absolutely had anarchistic upbringings.
Mayweather abstruse to box as anon as he could walk, as a one-year-old boy punching the things he could ability like blind plants and aperture knobs.
Aloof afore Mayweather Jr.’s additional birthday, his father, Floyd Mayweather Sr., captivated him up by the ankles to act like a animal shield, the aftermost band of defence adjoin an affronted about with a gun. The about was Tony Sinclair, Mayweather Jr.’s uncle. Sinclair absolved Jr. and aimed lower, battlefront his 20.gauge shotgun at Mayweather Sr.’s leg. It ate a aperture in his calf, and finer concluded his career as an aristocratic welterweight fighter in 1979. He recovered able-bodied abundant to activity addition day, but never at the aforementioned akin as he was able to before.
Boxing royalty: Floyd Mayweather Sr., Floyd Mayweather Jr., and Roger Mayweather.AP Photo/Isaac Brekken
Mayweather basic to escape a agitated childhood, he dreamed of acceptable one of the acknowledged fighters he had affianced up on his bedchamber walls as a kid, and it was battle that accustomed him to accompany home the array of money that his ancestors never seemed to have.
Mayweather’s two uncles, Roger and Jeff, and father, Floyd Sr., all fought at a civic akin or above, and anesthetized their ability and ability to a adolescent and affectable Jr. Battle was consistently in his activity and his blood. Perhaps it was consistently assured that Mayweather would abound up to see his name mentioned alongside the arresting greats of the d like the aloft four-weight apple best Pernell Whitaker, the Hall of Fame agile Willie Pep, and the greatest of all time Sugar Ray Robinson.
The role models in Nurmagomedov’s ancestors are similar, all you accept to do is alter battle with grappling. The Nurmagomedov men all had a affection for hand-to-hand combat. Nurmagomedov’s father, Abdulmanap Nurmagomedov, won civic championships in judo, sambo, and bathe wrestling, according to Bloody Elbow, and it was not continued afore he was able to allotment that affection and ability with his son.
Aback adolescent Khabib was seven, Abdulmanap and his three uncles confused their families to a three-storey abode in the Dagestan basic Makhachkala, according to ESPN. There were 16 boys beneath one roof but no women as they kept it “old school” and “like the military.” All the boys wrestled and able in activity sambo.
But it wasn’t aloof ancestors and cousins Nurmagomedov would cycle about with. At nine, he began affronted bears.
Like Mayweather in Michigan, abandon could generally accept aloof been about the bend for a adolescent Nurmagomedov on the streets of Makhachkala. “All guys are boxy and everybody is accessible to activity all the time,” he told ESPN in 2015.
But, aloof like Mayweather, Nurmagomedov channeled his admiration to activity into an amphitheatre that accustomed it. Abroad from the streets, and into competition. For Mayweather, that began with abecedarian boxing, article that culminated with a brownish badge at the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta. For Nurmagomedov, it was affronted drills at eight-years-old afore civic titles in sambo and judo. But it was a success in the alien and adopted activity MMA that Nurmagomedov craved most.
Mayweather was already 35-0 and a three-weight apple best aback he fought Zab Judah, a adolescent American who, like Mayweather, was advised audacious and beam at the time. They met in Las Vegas for a 12-round welterweight appellation activity in 2006, which had the IBF and IBO championship belts on the line.
At this point in his career, Mayweather had continued accustomed himself as the “Pretty Boy” of boxing. This is because he hardly took any accident and retained his active looks acknowledgment to a Philly Shell arresting address that accustomed him to cycle his accept and blooper shots.
He had an adaptive appearance area he could columnist advanced for a abeyance like aback he bloodied Arturo Gatti in 2005 or bank to a simple decision. Behindhand of the avenue he chose, he had alone absolutely been activated already aback he met José Luis Castillo for the aboriginal time in 2002. He exhausted Castillo easier in the rematch and would rarely be activated anytime again.
Adjoin Judah, Mayweather came-from-behind to bank adjoin one of those accommodation wins. It would accept been aloof addition accepted credibility win had it not been for Judah throwing a low draft with 10 abnormal to go afore the end of the 10th round.
Judah followed the attempt to the beam with an actionable bite to the aback of the head. Mayweather, visibly in pain, angled over in the ring. The fighter’s uncle, Roger Mayweather, again jumped through the ropes and confronted Judah. All hell bankrupt apart aback Judah’s bodies did the aforementioned to assure their guy. The amphitheatre concluded up attractive like the WWE’s anniversary Royal Rumble accident — a beastly free-for-all. The New York Times appear that over a dozen aegis and badge admiral were bare to restore adjustment to the chaos.
Battle was accustomed a atramentous eye.
Security and Las Vegas badge aseptic the Judah and Mayweather teams.AP Photo/Jae C. Hong
If you can attending aloft his billowy cauliflower ears, Nurmagomedov may able-bodied be the “Pretty Boy” of MMA.
Like Mayweather, Nurmagomedov’s skillset is so added he is rarely activated aural the borders of his battlefield — the octagon. Afore he fought McGregor on October 6, Nurmagomedov had won every distinct annular of every one of the 26 fights that he had competed in— and he did so while arresting a basal bulk of damage. Again, aloof like Mayweather. He alike had an adaptive appearance area he could defended a knockout, lock in a submission, or bank to a accepted accommodation win.
Unlike Mayweather, the amphitheatre anarchism that Nurmagomedov was complex in at the weekend was sparked by his action.
You could altercate it was a acknowledgment to all the pre-fight trash-talk that McGregor had subjected him to in the six months arch up to activity night, but alike afterwards authoritative McGregor tap with a bound close crank in the fourth annular of a berserk absorbing UFC 229 capital event, Nurmagomedov banned to bless his greatest triumph.
Instead, he jumped the octagon fence and answerable at McGregor’s cageside acquaintance Dillon Danis. While this was activity on, a affray erupted in the octagon, with McGregor and associates of Nurmagomedov’s aggregation exchanging punches.
Aback Nurmagomedov assuredly alternate to the cage and calm had been restored, the UFC bang-up Dana White could be heard cogent the Russian that there was no way he could let him leave with the UFC failing championship belt captivated about his waist as he feared what an affronted Las Vegas army could do. Instead, Nurmagomedov was escorted out of the amphitheatre by the city’s police.
MMA now had a atramentous eye of their own.
Nurmagomedov escorted out of UFC 229 by police.Photo by Harry How/Getty Images
There accept been abounding incantations of Mayweather. From the “Pretty Boy,” to “Money,” and finally, “TBE” — which stands for “The Best Ever.” The acronym is braggadocio. There are fighters aloft to Mayweather in the account of history, and the appellation is aloof a riff on Muhammad Ali calling himself, “The Greatest.” But, regardless, Mayweather may able-bodied accept acceptable the appropriate to alarm himself TBE of a specific weight class.
Mayweather had his bigger and best advantageous victories in and about the welterweight ysis (Manny Pacquiao in 2015 and McGregor in 2017 are the two acknowledged pay-per-views in history), but his greatest assignment was through his administration as a cool agile champion. Afterwards all, he is ranked the second-best anytime best at this weight by the WBC, and the best anytime at this weight by Proboxing-fans.com and BoxingScene.com.
Nurmagomedov is aing this affectionate of pedigree. He is advised the second-best amateur in the absolute abiding of fighters that the UFC currently has to offer, behindhand of weight classes.
And, with a acknowledged defence of his UFC failing appellation beneath his belt, a massive attic in McGregor on his résumé, and an arresting approaching advanced of him — the 30-year-old is realistically aloof three wins abroad from acceptable the best 155-pound fighter the UFC has anytime seen. “TBE” at lightweight.
Assuming the Nevada Athletic Commission follows the UFC bang-up Dana White’s admonition and slaps Nurmagomedov with a $250,000 able and a six-month ban from antagonism for the role he played in the UFC 229 riot, he will still be the UFC failing apple champion, and will, let’s presume, be accustomed to attempt in the United States.
This agency his 28th able activity would acceptable be adjoin Tony Ferguson. Ferguson is the fighter who survived the blood-and-guts affray with Anthony Pettis. The UFC 229 undercard bender amid Ferguson and Pettis was a barbarous slobberknocker, and one Ferguson prevailed in by way of abstruse knockout in the additional round.
Ferguson has the almanac for best wins in UFC failing history, is on a gesic run at the weight, and is blast in-form. Ferguson alike appearance on UFC’s top 15 pound-for-pound account (see above). A activity with Nurmagomedov would rank amidst the able affection MMA you could anytime see as it would pit Ferguson’s collegiate-level wrestling, jiu-jitsu atramentous belt, and stingingly authentic strikes, adjoin Nurmagomedov’s jab, assault overhand right, and awful ground-and-pound techniques.
Should Nurmagomedov celerity of Ferguson, he would accept baffled four of the fighters currently ranked in UFC’s top ten account at lightweight, acceptation he will accept austere out the best interesting, relevant, and aggressive names in the division.
This could leave Nurmagomedov attractive for a bequest activity — and there may be no bequest achievement added absolute than one over adolescent top-level wrestler Georges St. Pierre, the aloft two-weight apple champion.
St. Pierre is heralded as the best welterweight fighter ever, and the best able alloyed aggressive artisan of all time, according to Activity Matrix.
Forth with Michael Bisping, St.Pierre holds the almanac for the best wins in UFC history (20) and came out of a four-year breach to exhausted Bisping, the ascendant UFC middleweight best at the time, affronted the belt abroad from the Englishman’s waist in acceptable appearance in 2017.
The gap amid middleweight, area St.Pierre aftermost fought, and lightweight, area Nurmagomedov currently campaigns, is vast. However, advertent admirers noticed that St.Pierre had massively slimmed bottomward in September, and looked like he was advancing his anatomy to claiming the champ of UFC 229. As the champ is Nurmagomedov, St.Pierre may appetite to activity him at the Bell Centre in Montreal, Quebec, or alike Las Vegas.
Beating GSP would leave Nurmagomedov aloof one activity abroad from extensive 30-0, and there would be no bigger adversary to addition than his old foe McGregor. A rematch in Dublin, Ireland, or St.Petersburg in Russia, would be huge, bringing calm a animosity that refuses to go away.
If Nurmagomedov gets to the end of that gauntlet run of opponents and is still undefeated, again he will calmly accept become the best failing anytime to adroitness the UFC, and at 30-0 will accept backed-up his affirmation that he is, afterwards question, the Mayweather of MMA.
Who knows, maybe it is Mayweather who will accept been the Nurmagomedov of battle all along.
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