Khabib, who retired in 2021 as the longest-reigning UFC lightweight champion with an undefeated record of 29 fights, is considered one of the greatest fighters to have entered the Octagon.
But two-time champion and UFC Hall of Famer Michael Bisping believes Khabib’s decision to retire early means that the Russian fighter has ruled himself out of being called one of the greatest fighters of all time.
Speaking on True Geordie’s Pain Game podcast, Bisping said: “Yeah, he took himself out of it [the GOAT conversation]. And if you look, yeah, he didn’t fight the best until the end of his career.
“But for Khabib, I know it was because of his father passing away, and he made a promise to his mother. So, it’s different circumstances.”
Khabib announced his retirement after defeating Justin Gaethje last October, four months after his father and mentor Abdulmanap sadly passed away.
In his post-fight interview, he promised his mother that the fight was his last, and recently admitted to former Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson that he had no plans to put the gloves back on.
Despite offering Khabib a huge deal of respect for his distinguished career, Bisping remained sceptical over whether the Russian should be likened to some of the sport's greatest champions because of his short career.
The former British fighter said: “I think when you look at the resumes, even though he was undefeated, the resumes don’t really stack up.
“And I say that with tremendous respect to Khabib – far being from me to downplay his career because I would never dream of doing that.”News Now - Sport News