Kamaru Usman claims Khabib Nurmagomedov is on a different level to Charles Oliveira

Kamaru Usman

Kamaru Usman claims Khabib Nurmagomedov is on a completely 'different level' to newly-crowned UFC lightweight champion Charles Oliveira. 

Oliveira (31-8, 1 NC) defeated Michael Chandler in the main event of UFC 262 in Houston, Texas on Saturday night, dropping Chandler with a perfectly-timed left hand and following up with a barrage of unanswered strikes to finish the former Bellator lightweight champion at the start of the second round.

Nurmagomedov (29-0) is widely considered to be one of the best mixed martial artists of all time. He officially relinquished the lightweight title after announcing his retirement in October 2020.  

The 32-year-old is part of Ali Abdelaziz's Dominance MMA stable, the same management company who represent Usman, and the UFC welterweight champion feels Oliveira still has quite a long way to go before he can be placed on the same pedestal as Nurmagomedov, the former undisputed 155-pound titleholder. 

"I guess for fans maybe [it would be an interesting matchup]," Usman said to TMZ. "For the ones who truly know, [they] know what would happen in that fight.

"And yeah definitely, I think Khabib did watch the fight. Was he intrigued and thinking, 'Hey I want to get back in there?' Probably not.

"He’s a man that’s happy. He’s happy with his life. He’s happy with the direction that it’s gone, and yeah, I think he’s retired."

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Usman admits he was impressed by Oliveira's sheer grit and determination against Chandler, but he has warned the Brazilian there's no chance of him beating the retired Dagestani wrestler. 

"More power to Charles Oliveira," he added. "I’m impressed by him and I’m a fan of what he’s been able to do in his career.

"But I just think there are levels to the game and I think Khabib is a different level."

Read more: Conor McGregor officially starts training camp for Dustin Poirier trilogy fight at UFC 264

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