Khabib Nurmagomedov is recognized by most as one of the best mixed martial artists in the world today. Georges St-Pierre -- who was recognized as one of the greatest of all-time -- took the Nurmagomedov appreciation to another level by anointing "The Eagle" as the #1 pound-for-pound fighter in the world during an interview with RT Sports.
"I think actually one of the best pound-for-pound in the world, maybe the best pound-for-pound in the world is Khabib Nurmagomedov" said GSP. "I always said it. For me, he’s probably the best pound-for-pound. Unfortunately, I believe people don’t give him enough credit."
GSP offered a few theories on why Khabib Nurmagomedov isn't appreciated.
"Maybe because he’s not American, he’s not someone who talks a lot of trash like Conor McGregor, he’s someone who’s very respectful, he doesn’t make a lot of noise by talking.But the same thing, like I said before about me, is that the resume speaks for itself. You know, the guy’s undefeated, he beat everybody. I’m just sad that the fight with Ferguson didn’t happen, because it would have been an amazing fight."
You won't find many that'll agree with that notion, but it's not because Nurmagomedov lacks the talent to hold the P4P title. It's due to his lack of activity and his history of injuries.
Nurmagomedov had the chance to claim a UFC interim title at UFC 209, but had trouble during his weight cut and pulled out the day before the fight. Instead of Nurmagomedov putting himself in position to challenge Conor McGregor, he's sidelined until late-summer.
It's hard to shake the "fragile" tag in MMA and Nurmagomedov currently wears it on his chest like a scarlet letter. Unfortunately, while it appears that the undefeated Nurmagomedov has all the tools to be the best fighter in the world, his inability to stay healthy effectively places him behind Demetrious Johnson, Jon Jones, Daniel Cormier, and Conor McGregor on the fictional pound for pound list. That could all change if and when Nurmagomedov fights again. Until then, he'll be a case of what could have been.