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Exclusive: Ben Askren explains why he sides with Khabib Nurmagomedov being #1 pound-for-pound fighter over Jon Jones

Some UFC stars believe Khabib Nurmagomedov vs Jon Jones will go the way of the Russian at 205 lbs

A huge debate has raged as Jon Jones called out Khabib Nurmagomedov being named as the GOAT of MMA

Ben Askren waded into the debate on who is the #1 pound-for-pound fighter in the UFC. Some quarters have suggested that Khabib Nurmagomedov is the GOAT but Jon Jones wasn’t having any of that.

The former Light Heavyweight champion has moved up to the Heavyweight division and wants more gold.

Jon Jones has been arrested several times in the past
Mixed martial artist Jon Jones cries as he speaks during a news conference at MGM Grand Hotel & Casino to address being pulled from his light heavyweight title fight at UFC 200 against Daniel Cormier due to a potential violation of the UFC’s anti-doping policy on July 7, 2016 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

Khabib, for his part, finished his career at 29-0 and it is unlikely he will be back. Jones has spoken about his 15 or so title battles in the UFC while Khabib only had four.

Askren was on the Schmozone and asked about this. The former UFC star claimed he sided with Khabib and explained why Jones’ past is a problem as the Russian was named as #1 in the pound-for-pound rankings:

“Jon Jones is pissed. Let me tell you.

“I am not dumb enough to realise that Jon has a very very compelling argument. He definitely does. Just for me, performance-enhancing failures, drug test failures, multiple times, which Khabib never had.

“Khabib’s Russian so he might be cheating but he got a good body to get away with something, I am not sure.

“With the out of the cage stuff and with the last few fights which lot of people think he lost the Dominick Reyes fight and the Thiago Santos one was very close, man, Khabib was kind of like flawless in his career.”

Khabib not fighting regularly

Askren, however, understood that different arguments could be put up for the case of Jones. The former champion had several battles for the titles and always managed to come out on top.

Further, Askren, The Schmo and Helen Yee also brought up how little Khabib had battled when he was in the UFC.

Who won the fight at UFC 254?
Khabib Nurmagomedov of Russia celebrates his victory over Justin Gaethje in their lightweight title bout during the UFC 254 event on October 25, 2020 on UFC Fight Island, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. (Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)

The Russian never had more than twice in a year during his time with the promotion. However, Khabib did fight seven times in 2011 but that was all in Russia.

The debate on who the GOAT is will rage on for a long time. Jones and Khabib both have incredible bodies of work and picking one over the other isn’t issue.

That is why this huge split has emerged, and it will be interesting to see how Jones does in his new division. Another title win could see a shift towards him in the pound-for-pound rankings and the title of the GOAT too.

This was an exclusive interview from The Schmozone Podcast. For more exclusive interviews and content please follow the link

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Written by Saiyed Adeem Karim

Ditching a corporate job to follow a dream isn't easy, but when football comes calling, who can say no? Been following the beautiful game since 1998. Liverpool addict, F1 fanatic!

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