The GOAT conversation is an impossible conversation to have because there are so many variables that go into it. Is it title defenses that make the fighter the GOAT? Is it dominant performances? Is it wins over ranked opponents? Is it wins over former champions? Is it the impact on the sport?
Many people believe Nurmagomedov is the UFC’s lightweight GOAT because of his undefeated record and pure dominance.
B.J. Penn > Khabib Nurmagomedov
MMA legend ‘Showtime’ Pettis doesn’t buy into that, though. In a recent interview, Pettis revealed he doesn’t think ‘The Eagle’ is the GOAT.
“You know, I think – I moved down to 145, I fought at 170 – I fought all over the place,” Pettis told LowKick MMA. “It’s hard to say Khabib because he didn’t fight everybody. He won the world title by fighting Al Iaquinta.
“Al Iaquinta wasn’t even ranked at the time. And then he fought some good guys after that and then he retired, so it’s hard to say he’s the GOAT. He’s definitely one of the best. But like, guys like B.J. Penn, you know – like that’s a guy for me that, you know, if he wouldn’t have came back and lost a couple of fights, we all would be talking about B.J. as the GOAT, you know, one of the first.” h/t LowKick MMA
Pettis and Nurmagomedov almost collided in 2018 when the UFC needed someone to face Nurmagomedov after Max Holloway dropped out of their UFC 223 matchup. However, the fight fell through when Pettis and the UFC couldn’t come to a deal.
Pettis returns to action on August 5 at PFL 7 in New York. He rematches Stevie Ray, who submitted him with a modified body lock in June.