Khabib Nurmagomedov has named Max Holloway as the fighter that he believes can become the greatest of all-time.
Holloway put in a virtually flawless performance this past weekend against Calvin Katter on Fight Island, breaking no less than eight UFC records in the process.
So emphatic was Holloway's victory over Kattar that the entire MMA world was forced to take notice. Among those who were particularly impressed was Nurmagomedov.
The Russian superstar was asked to give his assessment of Holloway's performance during an interview with the Full Reptile YouTube channel. His response could not have been more glowing.
"I think about Max, he is already one of the best who has competed in MMA," declared Khabib, per thesun.co.uk.
"He is one of the best and is probably the best featherweight of all time. I think it was his best performance. When we look at Max, he is not old but he has a lot of fights in UFC. I think his prime time is coming, it’s not come yet.
"Maybe this year or maybe next year is going to be his prime time. It was not when he was champion, his time is going to come if he keeps focused doing everything he has to do."
Holloway was briefly scheduled to face Khabib back in April 2018 at UFC 223. 'Blessed' had agreed to step in on six days' notice and replace an injured Tony Ferguson in the evening's main event against Khabib.
However, Holloway was pulled from the card by the New York State Athletic Commission, who would not clear Holloway to compete on such short notice.
"I really like Max," continued Khabib. "We were supposed to fight in 2018. This was his best performance, but in the future, in a couple of years he has the chance to show and become maybe the best fighter of all time."
Khabib's words are lofty praise - and are understandable given Holloway's dominance over Kattar. With that said, since the proposed fight between the pair fell apart three years ago, Holloway has lost a trio of fights.
Firstly, he was defeated by Dustin Poirier in an interim UFC lightweight title bout, before dropping a pair of decision losses to current featherweight champion Alexander Volkanovski.
Holloway's record over the last few years hardly screams GOAT status and Khabib's comments will surely upset others who believe they have earned the right to call themselves the best ever.
Jon Jones took issue with Khabib being placed ahead of him in the pound-for-pound rankings after his victory over Justin Gaethje last October - and Jones will likely not agree with Khabib's latest comments either.
Another man who is certain to have a view on the pound-for-pound picture is Conor McGregor. McGregor returns to action at UFC 257 on Saturday night, intent on putting on a performance that will get his name back in the mix.
While Khabib remains retired for now, he has left the door open for a return to the Octagon should he see any fighter that suitably impresses him in the lightweight division. It may not happen immediately, but do not rule out a fight between Khabib and Holloway in the future. Khabib is clearly a fan of the Hawaiian.News Now - Sport News