Khabib Nurmagomedov has candidly praised fellow UFC fighter and rival Conor McGregor.
Speaking to RT Sport (via BJPenn), the 30-year-old Russian fighter believes that the 30-year-old Irishman played a massive part in the success of their UFC Lightweight Championship match at UFC 229.
"You know, you should give credit to Conor," he said.
"He is very popular. Was I as popular before the fight? I don't think so. But if you compare us as athletes, I proved that I am better.
"But as a star, he is much brighter than me. I don't know how much now, but before the fight, definitely."
The Eagle defeated the Notorious in the fourth round to retain his Lightweight Championship.
While McGregor does want a rematch with Nurmagomedov, it might not happen any time soon after recent reports suggest that Khabib could face Georges St-Pierre next.
Before his match at UFC 229, Nurmagomedov had nothing but praise for GSP.
"Georges is [the] greatest competitor in the UFC of all time," he said (via MMA Mania).
"Even if we fight, I think it's going to be a very tough matchup for me, and for him too. I never lose [a] round in the UFC.
"I think I can give him [a] very tough match. I know you guys love him, but when cage door close[s], I have to smash my opponents.
"In my mind, I think nobody can beat me."
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