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Khabib Nurmagomedov Gives Perfect Response After Being Compared With Muhammad Ali

Khabib Nurmagomedov Gives Perfect Response After Being Compared With Muhammad Ali

Khabib Nurmagomedov has played down comparisons to boxing legend Muhammad Ali and thinks it is 'inappropriate' to put him at that level.

Nurmagomedov is the current UFC lightweight champion and has an unbeaten record of 28-0.

The Russian is a devout Muslim and regularly practices his faith outside the octagon. It has seen the 31-year-old compared to Ali, who went through huge struggles in his career due to his faith.

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When asked about comparisons to 'The Greatest', Nurmagomedov told True Gym MMA per The Sports Rush: "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.

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"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 that we would see how I would have behaved in such a situation, In this case, we can be compared.

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"I like that people compare us, but I think it is inappropriate."

Ali was born Cassius Clay, but changed it to Muhammad Ali in 1964 after converting to Islam.

"Cassius Clay is a slave name," the former world champion said. "I didn't choose it and I don't want it. I am Muhammad Ali, a free name - it means beloved of God, and I insist people use it when people speak to me."

Ali died in 2016 after a battle with respiratory illness, aged 74.

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Image Credit: PA
Image Credit: PA

Nurmagomedov is yet to fight in the UFC this year due to the coronavirus pandemic in addition to the death of his father, Abdulmanap.

He'll return to action on October 24 when he takes on Justin Gaethje at UFC 254.

Do you think Khabib Nurmagomedov deserves to be compared to Muhammad Ali?

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Let us know in the comments below.

Featured Image Credit: True Gym MMA/YouTube

Topics: Khabib Nurmagomedov, Boxing News, UFC News, MMA News, Boxing, muhammad ali, UFC, MMA

Daniel Marland

Daniel is a freelance journalist for SPORTbible and covers a variety of sports. He also has past experience of working at Manchester United and once locked eyes with Jose Mourinho. He lived to tell the tale.