'GSP, Ferguson & Floyd': Khabib outlines 3-fight plan to become 'greatest athlete of all time'
Having already dethroned one of combat sport's greats in Conor McGregor, UFC champion Khabib Nurmagomedov has revealed the blueprint for his future fights which he feels will distinguish him as the world's top sportsman.
Khabib is still waiting on the determination from a January 29 hearing to determine the terms of his punishment for the UFC 229 post-fight brawl last October, recently saying that he expects to receive a ban for a period of nine months to a year.
Once the undefeated Russian fighter is cleared to compete though, he has identified a list of challengers which he says would stand him above any combat sports athlete to have gone before him.
"I don’t know right now,” Khabib said in an interview with Submission Radio. "Why not maybe St-Pierre, Ferguson and Mayweather, it will be these three guys and we can retire and become the greatest athlete of all time."
These three names have featured regularly next to Nurmagomedov's in the press in recent years. Tony Ferguson, the former interim lightweight champion, has been booked to face the Russia on no less than four separate occasions but each time the fight has fallen apart for a variety of reasons, including injury and weight-cutting woes.
UFC President Dana White had vowed to never again try to book the seemingly cursed bout, though Ferguson's continued excellence in the UFC's 155lb fold, where he has won eleven straight fights, has made a potential match-up difficult to ignore.
There are other options, however. Nurmgomedov says that he would relish the opportunity to face former welterweight and middleweight champion and personal hero Georges St-Pierre, the man he calls the "greatest athlete who ever competed in the UFC".
"Georges St-Pierre is a very big name," Khabib explained. "I like, an opponent who is a very tough opponent and he’s a little bit bigger than me. If we’re gonna fight, we have to fight at 155, because 170 is his weight and he’s gonna be a little bit bigger than me. For me it’s like a smart decision taking him to 155.Also on rt.com 'A fighter must control his emotions': Khabib says he's facing 1yr ban for McGregor brawl (VIDEO)
"He’s a very big challenge for me. Like, for my legacy, he’s a very good match-up for my legacy, for fans, for money, for everywhere now. I don’t know about his future, about his plans, but I respect him. In my opinion, he’s the greatest athlete who ever competed in the UFC, because he’s a champion inside the cage and outside the cage too. We’ll see."
Khabib maintains that there is another highly lucrative option to pursue: undefeated boxer Floyd Mayweather Jr.
The former multiple-weight world champion has openly flirted with a bout against the Dagestan native amid his recent flirtation with the mixed martial arts world, which saw him take on Conor McGregor and Tenshin Nasukawa in boxing matches and Khabib insists that there is interest on both sides in making the fight.
"He’s old now," Khabib said. "If you talk about like if I’m gonna compete with young lions in boxing, of course it’s gonna be very tough for me. Like, even if you talk about Canelo or Golovkin, these guys are dangerous. But Mayweather now is old, 41, 42 years old. You know, but he’s a very big name. If we can take very big fish, why not?
One fight that Khabib seems less interested in is the potential of a highly-lucrative rematch with the man he defeated by submission in his last fight - 'The Notorious' Conor McGregor.
"But right now, if you guys ask me, of course he not deserve a title shot rematch, Conor, because he lose, he tapped. It wasn’t a close fight. I dominated him everywhere in every aspect and I beat him. Like a told, I smashed him. Why we need a rematch?"Also on rt.com '22yrs after the bear, I wrestle with a McChicken': Khabib throws dig at McGregor Down Under (VIDEO)