UFC superstar Conor McGregor boasted he was already the No. 2 MMA fighter of all-time, and Khabib Nurmagomedov was happy to punch holes in that argument.
McGregor had gone on a bizarre rant on Saturday that started with him innocently releasing his MMA GOAT (Greatest of All-Time) list but ended with the Irishman taking some fairly needless swipes at the career legacies of Jon Jones and several other fighters.
But after revealing his all-time greatest MMA fighters list to the masses, McGregor had some explaining to do about how he could rank himself No. 2 on the list while leaving off entirely current UFC lightweight champion Nurmagomedov.
McGregor’s reason for why Nurmagomedov didn’t appear on his list was that he had a “fancy record” but nothing else of note:
Fancy record but a way to go before any GOAT entry. Only HL is win over me with hangover and broken foot. Other than that, made Iaquintas career with bad performance before Cerrone ended it again. 3rds to get Poirier out. 0 array of finishes. Bottled many bouts. Zero else of note
— Conor McGregor (@TheNotoriousMMA) May 23, 2020
The rest of the names on McGregor’s MMA GOAT list included Anderson Silva, Georges St-Pierre and Jones.
Nurmagomedov took to social media a few hours later to laugh off McGregor’s placement of himself among those other all-time great UFC champs, hailing McGregor as only the “greatest UFC fighter in Twitter history.”
Nurmagomedov Submitted McGregor at UFC 229
McGregor’s MMA GOAT list only had four names on it, but Nurmagomedov being left off it didn’t sit well with some fans primarily because of where McGregor had ranked himself.
Nurmagomedov is undefeated across 28 professional MMA contests. The 31-year-old Russian scored a dominant win over McGregor at UFC 229 in October 2018 and has barely lost a round during his entire 12-fight UFC career.
Regardless, McGregor won’t give his massive rival the credit most believe Nurmagomedov deserves.
In fact, since losing via fourth-round submission to Nurmagomedov at UFC 229, McGregor has mostly blamed a lack of training for the setback and also suggested that he entered the contest against Nurmagomedov with a broken foot.
McGregor might have won only a single round in his bout against Nurmagomedov, but the Irishman still doesn’t seem to be that impressed with the UFC lightweight champion’s skill set.
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McGregor’s Methodology Largely Based on Stylistic Preferences
As with any rankings system, McGregor’s MMA GOAT list and his associated commentary about who, how and why he ranked himself alongside Silva, St-Pierre and Jones, is largely based on the subjective criteria McGregor chose to employ.
For example, when explaining why McGregor ranked Jones No. 4 on his list, McGregor underscored how important it was for fighters to win in a variety of ways and that definitive stoppage wins were highly valued by the fighter over other methods of victory.
Still, one wonders whether McGregor would have used the same criteria if the fighter himself was less of a knockout artist and more a submission specialist or combat wrestler.
McGregor has created a slew of highlight-reel knockouts in his career, but the plain truth of the matter is that other fighters have used different styles to win more fights.