Anthony Pettis Uncertain Of Khabib’s Lightweight Goat Status: He Won The Title Fighting Al Iaquinta- Who Wasn’t Even Ranked!

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Saikat Banerjee
A wordsmith who indulges in the world of combat sports, Saikat Banerjee is an MMA, boxing, and arm wrestling content writer at The MMA India Show and The Sports Room. Apart from combat sports, he also engages in Indian sports content at The Sports India Show. Currently pursuing an MBA from Jadavpur University, Saikat's other interests lie in motorcycling, working out, and travelling.
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A major portion of the international mixed martial arts fandom considers former UFC Lightweight Champion Khabib Nurmagomedov to be the “Greatest Of All Time” (G.O.A.T) of the division. However, many have also countered the claims, and one of them is none other than Anthony Pettis, another former 155-pound titleholder in the UFC.

It’s hard to say Khabib because he didn’t fight everybody: Anthony Pettis

After an impeccable 29-0 professional career, Khabib announced his retirement after making his last fight against Justin Gaethje at UFC 254 back in 2020 October and was inducted into the UFC Hall of Fame earlier this year.

Many fans consider “The Eagle” to be the greatest Lightweight of all time, if not the Greatest ever in the sport of MMA itself. The Dagestani, who is a former two time combat sambo world champion, has been one of the most dominant fighters in the cage and made three title defenses against Conor McGregor, Dustin Poirier and Justin Gaethje after winning it from Al Iaquinta at UFC 223 in 2018 April.

However, Anthony Pettis doesn’t believe Khabib to be the GOAT of the division. A former Lightweight champ himself, Pettis has fought at Welterweight and has also contested interim UFC Featherweight Championship in the past.

Speaking to LowKick MMA. the current PFL Lightweight contender said that Khabib has not fought everyone in the division to be called the GOAT but did admit that he is one of the best.

“You know, I think – I moved down to ‘45, I fought at ‘70 – I fought all over the place,” said Pettis, “It’s hard to say Khabib (Nurmagomedov) because he didn’t fight everybody. He won the world title fighting Al Iaquinta.”

On the same note, Pettis mentioned former UFC Lightweight and Welterweight champion B.J. Penn and said that if the Hawaiian did not suffer the setbacks in the twilight of his career then he would’ve been the GOAT at 155.

“Al Iaquinta wasn’t even ranked at the time, so, you know. And then he fought some good guys after that and then he retired, so it’s hard to say he’s the GOAT. He’s definitely one of the best. But like, guys like B.J. Penn, you know – like that’s a guy for me that, you know, if he wouldn’t have came back and lost a couple of fights, we all would be talking about B.J. as the GOAT, you know, one of the first,” Pettis added. [H/T]

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