Well, along with the majority of onlookers of Max ‘Blessed’ Holloway’s stunning UFC Fight Island 7 headlining performance against Calvin Kattar, current undisputed lightweight best, Khabib ‘The Eagle’ Nurmagomedov has heaped praise on the Hawaiian — detailing how he believes Holloway could become the greatest mixed martial artist of all time in the future.
Once booked to match with the former dominant featherweight gold holder, Khabib drew Holloway at the infamous UFC 223 event in Brooklyn, New York back in April of 2018, however, the pairing was shelved when short-notice replacement, Holloway was removed by the commission due to the amount of weight he had shed in such a short period of time.
Remaining on the Barclays Centre bill, Khabib met with longtime Ray Longo and Matt Serra trainee, ‘Ragin’ Al Iaquinta instead, besting the lightweight contender to claim the vacant championship in a five-round unanimous decision triumph.
Returning to ‘Fight Island’ last weekend in the promotion’s debut on the ABC network, Holloway battled with surging 145-pound contender, Kattar — lodging one of the most impressive Octagon performances of all time. Besting a record set by himself in his dominant 2018 stoppage of Brian Ortega, Holloway land a whopping four-hundred and forty-five total strikes in a one-sided 50-43 (x2), and 50-42 unanimous judging battering.
With Khabib shedding some light on his immediate fighting future during a sitdown with UFC president, Dana White, the undefeated sambo specialist detailed how he would consider an Octagon return following his October retirement if Dan Hooker, Michael Chandler, Dustin Poirier, or arch-rival, Conor McGregor produced “something spectacular” at UFC 257 this weekend. Khabib also noted how impressed he’s been with the surge of Charles ‘Do Bronx’ Oliveira recently.
One man who has already grabbed the attention of Khabib it seems, is the above mentioned, Holloway, with the former explaining how Holloway is even yet to reach his prime — before claiming the Hawaiian may become the greatest mixed martial artist of all time if his continues turning in vintage performances like last weekend.
“I think about Max (Holloway), he is already one of the best who has competed in MMA,” Khabib said in a recent interview with Dan Hardy’s Full Reptile outlet. “He is one of the best and is probably the best featherweight of all time. I think it was his best performance.“
“When we look at Max, he is not old but he has a lot of fights in (the) UFC,” Khabib explained. “I think his prime is coming, it’s not come yet. Maybe this year or maybe next year is going to be his prime time. It was not when he was champion, his time is going to come if he keeps focused doing everything he has to do.“
Khabib then reflected on his failed short-notice matchup with Holloway back in the first quarter of 2018, detailing how he has a lot of admiration toward the latter.
“I really like Max, we were supposed to fight in 2018,” Khabib said. “I think his time is going to come and end of the year, maybe next year. It was his best performance; he is more of a great fighter today than he was a couple of days ago. This was his best performance [ever], but in (the) future, in a couple of years he has the chance to show and become maybe the best fighter of all time.“