Khabib Nurmagomedov was recently asked about people comparing him to Muhammad Ali during an interview with True Gym MMA. According to Khabib, while both fighters are champions and Muslims, it is inappropriate to compare the two.
“I think comparing Ali and me is probably wrong,” Khabib says in the interview. “Only if we talk about the fact that we are both champions and both Muslims. But all the things he did outside the ring, with this I cannot be compared indeed. At the time when he was a champion, he was…another race, and at that time in America, black people were treated badly, and according to his stories, he was not even served in restaurants. He threw away the gold medal. He changed the attitude towards his race very much. So, we cannot be compared.”
Khabib continued to talk about the differences between him and Ali.
“To be able to compare me with him, I need to go back to those years and be black, and be a champion. After that we would see how I would have behaved in such a situation, In this case, we can be compared.”
“I like that people compare us, but I think it is inappropriate,” Khabib concluded.
Khabib is scheduled to defend his lightweight belt against interim champion Justin Gaethje at UFC 254 on October 24th. He last fought on September 7th, 2019 when he successfully defended his belt against Dustin Poirier. Gaethje will come into UFC 254 on a 4-fight winning streak. He’s defeated James Vick, Edson Barboza, Donald Cerrone, and Tony Ferguson during this run.