Former UFC interim welterweight champion Colby Covington has stated that he is the reason, current UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov has not stepped up in weight class to fight at welterweight.
Khabib Nurmagomev retired last week following his second-round submission win over Justin Gaethje at UFC 254. Nurmagomedov has fought at lightweight for the entirety of his professional Mixed Martial Arts career and he has remained undefeated while doing so.
Now Colby Covington has stated in an interview with Submission Radio that Nurmagomedov remained undefeated because he campaigned at lightweight and never stepped up to welterweight.
He also stated that, Khabib was cutting a lot of weight to fight guys smaller than him.
“I think I’m the man and I’m the reason that he doesn’t come up to 170 in the first place,”. There’s a reason Khabib cuts all that weight,” Covington said to Submission Radio. “Everybody knows he walks around at 190, he is bigger than me. But, I’m a real man, I fight at my weight class. I’ll fight a man any size. Khabib wants to beat up little midgets.”
“Okay, that’s cool, Khabib, you beat up a bunch of little guys, a bunch of little midgets. But you’re not gonna fight in a real man’s weight class like 170 and welterweight because you know I’m the man,” he continued. “You know who’s here, you know you have no chance to keep that undefeated record. There is a reason why he is looking to cut a bunch of weight and there is a reason I’ll fight anybody alive.”
GSP vs Khabib?
While it’s true that Khabib has never stepped up to welterweight division, there has always been talks about him fighting the former UFC welterweight champion Georges St-Pierre.
With Khabib retired from the sport, GSP praised Khabib for an incredible career and called him an inspiration for the community.
“A lot of fighters in our sport has a tendency to finish too late in their career,” GSP said. “So their stock is going down, and then it close the door for many opportunities that a lot of elite athletes could have as an after career. Khabib has a choice now. He’s a perfect role model for the community.”
“I always feel sad when I see an athlete taking too many fights,” he continued. “A champion. Taking too many fights, and retire, having very bad performance and affect the well-being. That’s something I really don’t wish to someone. Khabib did an amazing decision, I think. In life, everything has a beginning and an end. The life of a professional athlete, even an elite athlete, has a window. If you fight past that window, that’s when the problems arise and appear.”