Monday, October 25, 2021

Dan Hooker Believes Khabib’s Record & Résumé Will Never Be Duplicated

UFC lightweight Dan Hooker doesn’t believe anyone will be able to replicate the success of Khabib Nurmagomedov inside the Octagon.

Khabib is widely regarded as one of the greatest fighters to have ever graced the sport of MMA. After arriving in the UFC in 2012 with a 17-0 record, “The Eagle” maintained his undefeated streak, and defeated the likes of Rafael dos Anjos, Michael Johnson, and Edson Barboza on his way to a title shot.

Having won the vacant belt with a decision victory over Al Iaquinta, the Dagestani defended the gold against two fellow greats in Conor McGregor and Dustin Poirier. Khabib’s final defense came at UFC 254 last October. After submitting Justin Gaethje, the 32-year-old announced his retirement from the sport.

Having accumulated a dominant 29-0 record, which included wins against some of the best the UFC has seen, many have wondered whether Khabib’s résumé in the cage can ever be topped. According to #8-ranked lightweight Dan Hooker, the Dagestani’s immense record will never be duplicated.

In an interview with James Lynch, “The Hangman” pointed out that no fighter had created a record like Khabib prior to the Russian’s dominance. And despite the latest crop of talent in the sport looking as strong as any before it, the New Zealander can’t see anyone remaining unblemished for as long as “The Eagle” managed to.

“I like what he has done, to go undefeated and to build that kind of record. That’s something that no one else has (done), and that’s probably something that no one else will ever do again.” (h/t EssentiallySports)

Hooker went on to explain why it made sense for Khabib to hang up his gloves when he did. According to the 31-year-old, it’s a lot easier for him to keep fighting because of the defeats he already has on his record.

“So, it’s like, how many more times do you wanna play Russian roulette? It’s easy for me because I’ve got like heaps of losses. So it’s easy for me to jump back on because, you know, the highs and lows, yeah. But to be like the only guy with a perfect record in MMA, to be like a multiple world champ, that’s an incredible achievement. It’ll never be copied again, so I can definitely understand him not wanting to take that risk.”

While Khabib continues to find success in the corners of his cousins and training partners, Hooker will be gearing up for his return to the Octagon later this month. At UFC 266, which will be headlined by his City Kickboxing teammate Alexander Volkanovski and Brian Ortega, “The Hangman” will face Nasrat Haqparast.

Fellow lightweight Arman Tsarukyan recently accused Hooker of ducking a fight against him in an interview with MMA News. It seems likely the pair will eventually meet later down the line, especially if the Russian-Armenian is successful in his own bout this month.

Do you agree with Dan Hooker? Can anyone replicate Khabib Nurmagomedov’s incredible record?

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