UFC Hall of Fame member B.J. Penn believes that Khabib Nurmagomedov had a reason to avoid going up to welterweight.
Nurmagomedov (29-0 MMA, 13-0 UFC), is a former UFC lightweight champion, retired after defending his third title against Justin Gaethje in October last year and ended his career unbeaten. This makes many fans see him as the most dominant UFC lightweight of all time.
But after hearing many people praise Nurmagomedov as the greatest 155-pound player of all time, Penn (16-14-2 MMA, 12-13-2 UFC) has something to say. Penn was the first fighter to win a UFC championships belt at two different weight classes (lightweight and welterweight), and he even fought in MMA facing Lyoto Machida as a light heavyweight.
Penn, 42 years old, believes that the only negative point in Nurmagomedov’s perfect MMA career is his unwillingness to challenge himself by fighting at heavier weight classes. He believes that Nurmagomedov avoided this because of his lack of his confidence in his Jiu-Jitsu.
Nurmagomedov once wore a T-Shirt at the 2013 UFC FX weigh-in which said: “If Sambo was easy, it would be called Jiu-Jitsu.” That’s when Penn said that Nurmagomedov believes that Jiu-Jitsu is easy. .
No one could stop Nurmagomedov’s crushing ground game. His three lightweight title defences were against former two-time UFC champion Conor McGregor and former interim champions Dustin Poirier and Justin Gaethje who were all submitted and then the 32-year-old retired.
Penn wrote on his Instagram:
“Since Khabib has been saying he is the greatest lightweight of all time and I am number 2 best lightweight many people have been asking me why didn’t Khabib fight Usman for the 170 pound belt or compete for 170 belt like I did many times… in my humble opinion it is because he is not proficient and confident in jiujitsu
I believe the reason behind Khabib not fighting Usman is because he does not know jiujitsu like I did and he is not comfortable fighting off his back against someone who is bigger and stronger than him like I did many many times in my career. I fought at 170 185 and heavyweight and every fight I had to fight from my back and survive and come back and fight harder if I was to get a victory.
It’s because of my jiujitsu black belt 🥋 experience and fighting in my weight and absolute division for years that always prepared me for this…Gracie jiujitsu and Brazilian jiu-jitsu alone is not enough to be UFC champion but to choose one system BJJ is still the greatest self defense system in the world especially for the little man to fight the big man.
It was just part of the game…
Khabib says jiujitsu is easy and he is the best grappler ever but he did not fight bigger opponents in higher weight classes because his style is not prepared for this …and that’s what jiujitsu was created for.. for the little man to defend himself from the big man! That is martial arts, that is self defense !! 🥋 🤙🏽”