Jon Jones Praises Khabib Nurmagomedov, Before Noting His Stand-up’s “Nothing to Write Home About”
By FCF Staff
Jon Jones recently acknowledged that Khabib Nurmagomedov is an outstanding fighter. But the light-heavyweight champ clearly doesn’t agree with anyone who thinks Nurmagomedov is a greater fighter.
In advance of Jones UFC 247 bout with Dominick Reyes on Saturday, the star appeared on ESPN’s “First Take“. During the segment, well known boxing analyst Max Kellerman told Jones that he thinks Nurmagomedov is currently, the best fighter in MMA. Jones initially had this to say (after laughing at Kellerman’s statement)(quote via MMA Junkie):
“I think Khabib’s an amazing fighter. I think he’s done a great job representing the UFC. He’s a great ambassador for our sport. But if you were to ask some MMA experts about myself and Khabib, I think most people would be able to tell our resumes are completely different. So many world champions under my belt that I’ve defeated. Khabib, a lot of his victories are against a lot of people that are relatively unknown, (whereas) I’ve been fighting legends since I was a young man in my early 20s.”
Kellerman followed-up by clarifying he was talking about right now, and not the fighter’s accomplishments. He then proceeded to say:
“Nurmagomedov in a sport where it seemed early on that the one whose base is the ground game usually has the advantage vs. the guy who’s best known for striking is the best example I could think of the guy whose ground game is ridiculous and then could also stand up.”
The 205 champ then said the following:
“Right. Yeah, his stand-up game is really not much to write home about. I really don’t want to insult my fellow martial artists. I don’t want to insult these guys. I’m happy for everyone. Like I said, some guys are more popular. Some guys make more money. It’s always gonna be kind of an opinion thing, but by the time I leave this sport I don’t think there’s gonna be much of an argument.”
Nurmagomedov is booked to fight Tony Ferguson at UFC 249, April 18th.