The UFC dropped the ball on Khabib's career imo

Who's fault is it that Khabib only has 3 title defenses and not 7-8 at the time of his retirement? It's not like he had a late start in his mma career.  Take a look at his record and when he joined the UFC which was in 2012 as a 24 year old with a record 16-0. As an undefeated top prospect, it took him over 6 years and 10 fights to finally get a title shot....what gives?? 

Conor entered the UFC and got his title shot 2 years earlier.  Eddie Alvarez entered the UFC and got his title shot after 3 fights even though he lost his debut to Ceronne.

I remember that us fans were already crowing him as a future champion after a couple of fights in the UFC and we were dumbfounded as to why they never pushed or promoted more.  There's no excuse for the UFC to hold him out for 6 years and to finally give an undefeated fighter a title shot on his 10th UFC fight. All the while, guys like Pettis, Cerrone, Milendez, Dos Anjos, Alvarez and McGregor had all been given title shots. Khabib could have mauled all of those guys during this timeframe.

Dana White said today that the UFC was lucky to have Khabib Nurmagomedov.  Well it certainly didn't seem like it for 6 bloody years where Khabib literally had to beg for a title shot in the cage while fighting Barbosa.

This is why Khabib Nurmagomedov is the GOAT in my book. He never came close to losing a fight and would have defended his title many more times had he been given a title shot earlier as warranted.

4 Likes

Fantastic analysis. I'd say the only issue you could point too is the khabib "bubble boy" era where he was constantly injured...plus some weight cut issues. I'm not fighting once a year during his prime was by design. 

Conor shit talked his way to a title and a ton of money.  Eddie was decent money from the start from another org.  If Khabib would have talked more shit or came from a major organization he could have been fast-tracked.

NewYearNewGi -

Fantastic analysis. I'd say the only issue you could point too is the khabib "bubble boy" era where he was constantly injured...plus some weight cut issues. I'm not fighting once a year during his prime was by design. 

There's some validty there.  While that is true, I don't think that they appreciated what he had to give  First of all he wasn't American and they probably thought that his s.t.y.l.e. of fighting was boring after getting rid of guys like Fitch etc.

In reality, Khabib is one of the most skilled and exciting fighters ever.  He does not lay and pray, his ground and pound is arguably the most viscious and relentless that we've ever seen. 

I think it wasn't until after the Conor fight that Dana started to appreciate him and realize his star power.  Sadly, many of us were calling for him to be promoted very early on, not after 6 years of being in the UFC. 

Its this whole letting fighters picjk and choose fights and sit out for long periods. And with khabib you add in all his injuries & Ramadan or whatever, he missed alot of time.

2012-2

2013-3

2014-1

2015-ZERO

2016-2

2017-1

2018-2

2019-1

2020-1

8 fights in last 7 years (2014-2020)

Khabib CHOSE to do Ramadan that takes away huge chunk of the year. Dude missed weight idk how many times. And last but certainly not least as it’s the most important factor, he’s just not exciting and fun to watch. MMA IS NOT A SPORT!!! STOP THINKING ITS A SPORT!!! MMA IS AND ALWAYS HAS BEEN A SPECTACLE!!! Watching two humans hurt each other until the other can’t handle it any more will never be a sport and will always always always be entertainment. And when it comes to entertainment, Khabib sucks.

1 Like

One thing I'll say for Khabib that I think is impressive is that the steeper the competition became, the more dominant he was.  He choked out the previous three light weight title holders in more dominant fashion each successive time.

Other than the Ferguson fight or some sort of move to another division, not much else could have been asked of him as LW champion. 

And if you want to play the MMA Math game, he just beat the guy who just dominated the guy who was the other light weight belt holder. 

quality -

Conor shit talked his way to a title and a ton of money.  Eddie was decent money from the start from another org.  If Khabib would have talked more shit or came from a major organization he could have been fast-tracked.

I think Eastern Europe and Russia have perfectly respectable organizations competitionwise that just get 0 coverage in the US unless there's a freak fight of some sort.