Advertisement: IBO Boxing

Muhammad Ali Comparisons Are "Inappropriate" Says Khabib Nurmagomedov

Muhammad Ali is considered “The Greatest” boxer to ever step foot in the ring.

Khabib Nurmagomedov has quickly evolved into arguably the best mixed martial artist to ever grace the cage. The 31-year-old, 155-pound UFC champion has amassed a 28-0 record with 18 finishes, and he’s been hearing a heap of praise allotted to him of late for his world-class showings.

Although both fighters are considered to be the best of their disciplines, and Muslims, Nurmagomedov, who is Russian, does not believe the comparisons to Ali are warranted.

“I think comparing Ali and me is probably wrong. Only if we talk about the fact that we are both champions and both Muslims,” Nurmagomoedov told True Gym MMA in Russian. “But all the things he did outside the ring, with them I can’t be compared.”


Ali is one of the most iconic figures of the 20th century. The three-time heavyweight champion challenged the status quo with his outspoken political activism. Ali’s stance as a sport’s figure was seminal, especially when he refused to be drafted into the military for the Vietnam War because of his religious beliefs. He was later exiled from boxing for three-and-a-half-years due to his beliefs.

“Indeed, at the time he was a champion,” continued Nurmagomedov. “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 [1960 Olympics] gold medal [he’d won]. He changed the attitude toward his race very much, so we can’t be compared. To be able to be compared with him, I need to go back to those years and be Black and be a champion. Afterward, we would see how I would behave in such a situation. In this case, we can not be compared. I like that people compare us, but I think it is inappropriate.”

Nurmagomedov will next fight in Abu Dhabi on Oct. 24 when he challenges interim champion Justin Gaethje as the main event for UFC 254.

Manouk Akopyan is a sports journalist and member of the Boxing Writers Assn. of America since 2011. He has written for the likes of the LA Times, Guardian, USA Today, Philadelphia Inquirer, Men’s Health and He can be reached on Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn and YouTube at @ManoukAkopyan or via email at manouk[dot]akopyan[at]

User Comments and Feedback
Comment by revelated on 09-24-2020

[QUOTE=hectari;20775807]Did you forget conor mcgrefor dolly incident? Or is that okay[/QUOTE] Nope. McGregor shouldn't have done that either especially since that incident basically ruined Thug Rose permanently, emotionally. But according to some here, Thug Rose is a licensed fighter so…

Comment by hectari on 09-24-2020

[QUOTE=revelated;20771322]He assaulted two people who laid not one hand on him. Trash talking is not an excuse to assault a non-fighter. BY that logic, you should be down on Shakur Stevenson and Crawford too since they also assaulted innocent people…

Comment by Griever0730 on 09-23-2020

[QUOTE=revelated;20773949]Okay, so according to your logic, Ike Ibeabuchi got a raw deal and shouldn't have gone to prison because, "things got personal", so all "all bets were off". Right? No. You are a pro fighter. Your hands are registered as…

Comment by revelated on 09-23-2020

[QUOTE=Griever0730;20773873]Once things get personal, all bets are off. If you get seen, then whatever happens happens.[/QUOTE] Okay, so according to your logic, Ike Ibeabuchi got a raw deal and shouldn't have gone to prison because, "things got personal", so all…

Comment by Griever0730 on 09-23-2020

[QUOTE=revelated;20771617]None of which matters. "AT THE END OF THE DAY", the guy didn't lay hand on Khabib and Khabib disrespected not only him but the fans by hopping the cage with that assault. Save that crap for when you're NOT…

Top Headlines
Gervonta Davis Will Be A PPV Attraction Moving Forward, Ellerbe Says Prograis: Me & Teofimo Lopez Would Be A Very Explosive Fight; Let's Do It! Chisora: I Have To Go To Usyk, I'm Going To Go To War! Savannah Marshall: The Lockdown Has Been Brilliant For Females Michel Rivera Believes His Speed, Power, Pressure Will Get Him Past Miller Jason Moloney: A Year That Could've Been Devastating Has Been Exact Opposite For Me Regis Prograis on His Comeback Against Juan Heraldez Inoue: A Lot of Expectations Of Me, I Want To Be Able To Live Up To Them Heavyweight Avalanche Starts With Usyk-Chisora Michel Rivera Believes Davis' Abilities Will Be Too Much For Santa Cruz Haye: You Saw Lopez-Loma? Chisora Will Do Same To Usyk! Jaime Munguia Fights Through Fire, Stops Johnson in Six Due To Severe Cut Dave Allen Gutted Over Fight Falling Out, To Return in Coming Months Jaime Munguia vs. Tureano Johnson - LIVE BoxingScene Scorecard Rashidi Ellis Stays Unbeaten, Decisions Alexis Rocha Elwin Soto Boxes Past Carlos Buitrago To Retain Title Devin Haney: I Have a Goal To Be The First Billionaire Boxer! Marlen Esparza Decisions Sulem Urbina Over Eight Rashid Kodzoev Takes Out Tamas Lodi in Five Rounds in Minsk Naoya Inoue, Jason Moloney - Set For Las Vegas Showdown Barrios vs. Karl, Magdaleno vs. Cruz - Weights Ewa Brodnicka Misses Weight, Title Only At Stake For Mikaela Mayer Regis Prograis, Juan Heraldez - Set For Battle Gervonta Davis, Leo Santa Cruz - Ready For War in Texas Inoue-Moloney ESPN+ Weigh-In Report From Las Vegas Weights: Murat Gassiev 230.6-Pounds, Nuri Seferi 225.1 Ryan Garcia vs. Luke Campbell - Undercard Information Gervonta Davis-Leo Santa Cruz Weigh-In Results From San Antonio LIVE STREAM: Gervonta Davis vs. Leo Santa Cruz - Weigh-In Gervonta Davis: My Arms Are Open If Floyd Wants To Work Corner Saturday Night Lee Selby, George Kambosos - Ready For Eliminator Savannah Marshall, Hannah Rankin - Set For Title Clash Michael Conlan Suffers ATFL Tear, Out For 8-12 Weeks's Television Pick of The Week - October 30 Usyk, Chisora - Face To Face For Halloween War Munguia: They Offered Us This Fight, We Said Yes Without Even Discussing It Usyk-Chisora, Kambosos-Selby Weigh-In Report From London Santa Cruz: I Wanted Davis Fight Because People Said I Was Scared, Always Getting Tune-Ups Wojcicki-Volny Title Eliminator Postponed Due To Mandatory Shutdown In Germany Devin Haney: I Agree With Floyd Mayweather - There Are Too Many Belts In Boxing
Latest Forum Threads