Former undefeated UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov had a storied career not only with the UFC, but throughout his entire professional career which saw him retire undefeated at 29-0. On Thursday, “The Eagle” took his rightful place inside the UFC’s Hall Of Fame as he was inducted part of the 2022 class alongside friend and teammate, Daniel Cormier.
Before the ceremony began, Nurmagomedov met with the media to answer a series of questions on the red carpet, and while there is plenty to look back on in his career, the former champion noted one that stood out more than the rest. During his media scrum, Khabib Nurmagomedov was asked about which moment in his 29-0 professional career was the best and not much of a surprise, but the Dagestan superstar said it was his bitter rivalry with Conor McGregor.
Back in 2018, Nurmagomedov and McGregor were deeply tied into a bitter rivalry that included personal insults, a bus attack before UFC 223, and a lightweight title fight. That fight would take place at UFC 229 and although McGregor held his own early on against the undefeated champion, Nurmagomedov would secure a fourth-round submission victory to defeat the Irish superstar.
The win would not put an end to their rivalry however, as Nurmagomedov got into an altercation with McGregor’s then-teammate Dillon Danis, which saw the champion jump out of the cage and attack McGregor’s teammate. McGregor would also be targeted after the fight as members of Nurmagomedov’s team went after the former champion even after the victory had been sealed.
On Thursday when Khabib Nurmagomedov met with the media, he talked about why his victory against McGregor was the best moment of his career. The dominant former champion said that even with his undefeated record, he could’ve lost any fight in his career, besides his fight against McGregor.
Ahead of tonight's UFC Hall of Fame induction, Khabib Nurmagomedov says beating Conor McGregor was his greatest career moment.
"I can lose any of my fights. But no way this fight."
— MMA Junkie (@MMAJunkie) July 1, 2022
“It was here, this arena, [T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas] October 6, 2018, biggest fight in MMA history and I’m very happy I win this fight. I can lose any of my fights, but no way this fight.”
With names like Justin Gaethje, Dustin Poirier, Al Iaquinta, Edson Barboza, and many more, it’s not all that surprising that Khabib Nurmagomedov would label his victory over McGregor as the best moment of his career. While all of the other opponents he faced had their own respective careers, McGregor is by far the biggest superstar in the sport, and the top-notch pay day that comes with fighting him, as well as a title defense, and standing up for himself and his family, all that mixed in certainly makes it an incredible moment in an incredible career for the former lightweight champion.