UFC Commentator Joe Rogan Believes That Khabib Nurmagamedov Is The Most Dangerous Contender In The UFC Lightweight Division…
When Khabib Nurmagamedov took a unanimous decision win over Edson Barboza at UFC 219 on December 30th, Joe Rogan had the best seat in the house. The longtime UFC commentator was so blown away by the performance of the Russian, that he passionately discussed the fight in his podcast JRE MMA Show.
Alongside Jimmy Smith, the former Bellator commentator, he analysed the Dagestan native’s dominant performance over Barboza and considered what is next for the top of the UFC’s Lightweight division. They discussed how dangerous and effective Nurmagamedov could be against the reigning champion, Conor McGregor.
Nurmagamedov is unbeaten in twenty-five professional MMA fights, with nine of those taking place in the UFC. His previous fight was an equally dominant victory over Michael Johnson in November of 2016. Unfortunately, ‘The Eagle’ has an appalling injury record, famously missing the entirety of 2015.
His comeback against Barboza, one of the division’s most deadly strikers, reminded MMA fans exactly what they have been missing.
Rogan and Smith acknowledged the pace and intensity of the Sambo style fighter. He stalks his opponents, forcing them against the cage, before raining down a brutal and relentless assault upon them from the ground. Rogan said:
“It was inevitable. Everything was inevitable. The takedown was inevitable. The beatings were inevitable. Even if you hit him… congratulations. Now you’re on your ass getting punched in the face over and over. You can’t get up, you’re getting mauled. Like immediately.”
What is next?
His incredible performance adds another dimension to the top of the division. Conor McGregor has yet to defend his Lightweight title, despite taking it from Eddie Alvarez in November of 2016. Since then Tony Ferguson, who is on a 6-fight win steak, has claimed the interim title after defeating Kevin Lee last October.
Despite the fact that there are two belts in the division it is still not clear-cut which two fighters out of the three contenders will face each other first. However, it is clear how highly Rogan rates Nurmagemedov:
“Khabib, after this performance, has set it up to a place where he’s the most terrifying lightweight contender in the world. Then you have Tony Ferguson, whose a motherf-r, and has the interim championship, then you have Conor – who knows what happens with him? I think the UFC’s going to give him some time, let the holidays pass, see what the f-k happens and then make some moves.”
Best in the Division?
Many other commentators consider the Russian’s style to be McGregor’s kryptonite. Earlier this week in his own podcast, Believe You Me, former UFC Middleweight Champion Michael Bisping agreed that Nurmagamedov’s style is potentially more dangerous for McGregor than any other likely opponent’s. Rogan summed it up:
“He’s on such another level, the odds of you beating him drop dramatically after the first minute and a half.”
‘The Eagle’ shuts fighters down in a way no other fighter in the division is capable of doing. His approach is entirely different to his rivals McGregor and Ferguson. It’s going to be exciting whoever he fights next. And violent.