‘I Don’t Think There’s Ever Been A Man More Dangerous Than Khabib’

 Oliveira v Makhachev
Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC

“He steamrolls everybody.”

Khabib Nurmagomedov went 29-0 for a reason.

“The Eagle” is one of the best fighters of all time, and in many books, the greatest Lightweight to ever compete. Although Nurmagomedov is no longer an active competitor, his legacy lives on through his students and peers. Atop that list is the new Lightweight kingpin, Islam Makhachev.

The pair have drawn several parallels for obvious reasons. However, their old teammate and fellow former titleholder, Daniel Cormier, recently claimed Makhachev (25-1) to be more dangerous than his predecessor, Nurmagomedov. American Kickboxing Academy (AKA) Founder and longtime head coach, Javier Mendez, understood the claim but believes it needed some clarity.

“Okay, he’s more skilled in multiple areas, yes,” Mendez told MMA Mania. “More dangerous? Nobody is more dangerous, in my opinion, in the world than Khabib. Nobody, no one, I don’t care. I haven’t seen one that is more dangerous than Khabib in the sense of danger. I mean, you can’t do nothing to him. It’s very difficult to do anything to him.”

Nurmagomedov, 35, was one of the rare cases in mixed martial arts (MMA) history where someone retired on top. A surprise retirement followed a second round triangle choke of Justin Gaethje in October 2020. Despite the decision, Nurmagomedov looked better than ever and like he was still improving with each title defense.

Makhachev has shown a similar progression, as he scored an impressive first round knockout of the former Featherweight champion, Alexander Volkanovski, in his last time out (watch highlights). Regardless, Mendez can’t deny the original Lightweight ruler.

“Khabib is the most dangerous because, first of all, in my opinion, and I’m being biased because I love him to death, he’s got the hardest chin I’ve ever seen on anybody,” Mendez said. “He’s been hit. The only person who rocked him a little bit, a tiny bit, was Michael Johnson.

Michael Johnson hit him with one hell of a shot and other than that, no one else has hit him with anything,” he continued. “Justin Gaethje’s hit him, but did nothing. He steamrolls everybody. I think ‘D.C.’ probably meant more skilled, yes that’s correct. But, more dangerous? I don’t think there’s ever been a man more dangerous than Khabib.”