Friday, January 21, 2022

Usman Believes Khabib Is On A Different Level Than New Champ Oliveira

Kamaru Usman doesn’t believe new UFC lightweight champion Charles Oliveira would defeat his predecessor, Khabib Nurmagomedov.

Khabib Nurmagomedov retired with a perfect record of 29-0, which was attained with “The Eagle” barely breaking a sweat along the way. Perhaps he would be adding more victories to his record had he decided to remain active. Instead, he decided to walk away on top of the lightweight division, vacating the title on his way out. 

Charles Oliveira picked up the torch at UFC 262 by defeating Michael Chandler to become the new lightweight champion. UFC welterweight champion Kamaru Usman was among those viewing the bout, and he firmly believes his friend Khabib was watching as well. And what Usman took away from the fight is the same thing that he believes Khabib and anyone else in the know would derive from it: Oliveira is fortunate that Khabib is retired (transcribed by Adam Martin).

“I guess for fans maybe (it would be an interesting matchup). For the ones who truly know, (they) know what would happen in that fight,” Usman told TMZ Sports. “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.”

Usman has often spoken of MMA “levels,” usually when referring to himself being a tier or two above his welterweight peers. The Nigerian Nightmare believes the same applies to Khabib Nurmagomedov and the active UFC lightweights, including its new undisputed champion.

“More power to Charles Oliveira. I’m impressed by him and I’m a fan of what he’s been able to do in his career,” Usman said. “But I just think there are levels to the game and I think Khabib is a different level.”

Do you agree with Kamaru Usman? Is Khabib Nurmagomedov on a different level than Charles Oliveira?

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