Whenever someone decides to retire there is an immediate deification and reverence that goes well beyond normalcy. You can go look at any retirement of anyone of any significance and you will see the same thing. The same comments the same praise, and the same reactions from the fans on social media. In this hyperbolic world it isn’t that surprising but it does make those who remain feel slighted. Especially when they have defended their title many more times than what the person who is retiring had.
I am certain all of our readers know exactly who I am talking about. When lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov finished interim champion Justin Gaethje in the second round by technical submission he announced his retirement after. This prompted one of the biggest love fests mixed martial arts has ever seen. Even UFC president Dana White stated that he believed Nurmagomedov was the greatest of all time. I know there are some who are arguing that point at this precise moment but in about six months less than half of them will continue on. It’s The way the fight game is. Quite frankly I have been objective but can’t for the life of me find a reason to call the Russian the greatest. Not with Jon Jones around.
Jones started his career in the UFC after only six professional fights and the only loss he has is a mind boggling disqualification by the referee in a fight he was dominating. He has one other blemish on his record and that is a no contest against Daniel Cormier that was originally a brutal head kick knock out. The only person who ever truly defeated Jon was Jon.
Khabib had 16 professional fights under his belt when he joined the UFC. He won and then defended the lightweight belt just three times before retiring – a far cry from Jones. I’m not hating on the Russian I’m just being realistic and a fair warning, if you mention that statistic on social media right now you will immediately be called a hater. Jon fought at a championship level for the majority of his career and Nurmagomedov did not. That may get some readers hot under the collar but give it time and reality will sink in after the honeymoon phase of his retirement is over.
It doesn’t hurt that his teammate and Jones nemesis Daniel Cormier is a prominent commentator for the organization and one of Khabib’s biggest hype men when on air.
Here is what Jones said that has triggered a lot of Khabib fans..
I’m talking to all you Khabib fans out there. Fifteen world titles to your guys’ four, and you guys are really talking about who’s the best fighter ever? You guys are joking, right?
he went on to say…
The only person that could possibly come back and challenge my record and what I’ve done in the UFC is possibly Georges St Pierre. He would have to come back and win two championship fights to tie me, and I’m not even retired yet. I’m 33 years old. I’ve got a whole nother chapter to go through.
I don’t think he’s wrong but I know the strength of the Khabib fan boy right now is Taylor Swift fan levels. What is your opinion on this?