UFC Champ’s ‘Inappropriate’ Comparison to Muhammad Ali

Muhammad Ali left, Khabib Nurmagomedov


A viral video is making the rounds on social media of a journalist asking UFC lightweight champion Khabib “The Eagle” Nurmagomedov about being compared to Muhammad Ali. The 31-year-old UFC superstar said he liked being compared to arguably the greatest and most popular boxing champion in history but that it probably wasn’t that fair of a comparison due to Ali’s deep impact on social justice issues.

“I like that people compare us, but I think it is inappropriate,” Nurmagomedov said.

You can watch the viral video of Nurmagomedov answering the journalist’s question about being compared to Ali via the social media post below.

Full Transcript of Nurmagomedov’s Answer

In the video, the reporter asks, “Many fans are increasingly comparing you to Muhammad Ali. Do you like this comparison?”

Nurmagomedov’s full answer is below (as transcribed in the viral video):

“I think comparing Ali and me is probably wrong. Only if we talk about the fact that we are both champions and both Muslims. But all the things he did outside the ring–with this I cannot be compared. Indeed, at the time when he was a champion, he was… another race. And at that time in America, black people were treated badly and, according to his stories, he was not even served in restaurants. He threw away the gold medal. He changed the attitude towards his race very much so we cannot be compared. To be able to compare me with him, I need to go back to those years and be black and be a champion. After we would see how I would behave in such a situation. In this case, we cannot be compared. I like that people compare us, but I think it is inappropriate.”

Nurmagomedov’s response to the question seemed to catch fire with many combat sports fans.

The video has already been viewed over a million times by people all around the world via the one Twitter post alone, and it was just posted on September 15.

Nurmagomedov Returns To Action at UFC 254 on October 24

Nurmagomedov’s next fight is scheduled to take place at UFC 254 on October 24 in Abu Dhabi.

The headliner for that card is a riveting 155-pound matchup against interim titleholder Justin Gaethje.

Nurmagomedov is 28-0 across all MMA promotions. He’s one of the most dominant forces in MMA history, and he’s expressed interest in facing UFC legend Georges St-Pierre in his following fight to reach his goal of retiring with a perfect record of 30-0.

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More About ‘The Greatest’

Self-proclaimed as “The Greatest” and hailed by many fans and historians as the same, Ali remains the most popular and well-known fighter in the history of combat sports.

He was the first heavyweight boxing champion to ever win the title three times in a career, and he did that during the deepest and perhaps most storied era the division had ever seen.

Ali proved himself to be the best fighter of that era. He dazzled boxing fans with wins over a multitude of great heavyweights, including former champs Floyd Patterson, Sonny Liston, Joe Frazier and George Foreman.

Moreover, Ali’s strange public career saw him go from polarizing radical figure to a beloved icon in the eyes of the general public.

Ali was born Cassius Marcellus Clay, Jr. in 1942.

He changed his name to Muhammad Ali upon converting to Islam in 1964. He died in 2016 widely regarded as one of the most significant and celebrated figures of the century.

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