BJ Penn has a reason as to why Khabib Nurmagomedov never moved up to welterweight to try and become a champ-champ.
Nurmagomedov was dominant at the lightweight division, and many wanted to see him move up to 170lbs to try and see how he would do at that weight. Yet, he never did and for Penn, who fought at several different weight classes, he has a reason as to why Nurmagomedov never moved up.
“Since Khabib has been saying he is the greatest lightweight of all time and I am number 2 best lightweight many people have been asking me why didn’t Khabib fight Usman for the 170-pound belt or compete for 170 belt like I did many times… in my humble opinion it is because he is not proficient and confident in jiujitsu,” Penn wrote on Instagram.
“I believe the reason behind Khabib not fighting Usman is because he does not know Jiu-Jitsu like I did and he is not comfortable fighting off his back against someone who is bigger and stronger than him like I did many many times in my career,” Penn continued. “I fought at 170 185 and heavyweight and every fight I had to fight from my back and survive and come back and fight harder if I was to get a victory. It’s because of my jiujitsu black belt experience and fighting in my weight and absolute division for years that always prepared me for this…
“Gracie Jiu-Jitsu and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu alone is not enough to be UFC champion but to choose one system BJJ is still the greatest self-defense system in the world especially for the little man to fight the big man,” Penn concluded. “It was just part of the game… Khabib says Jiu-Jitsu is easy and he is the best grappler ever but he did not fight bigger opponents in higher weight classes because his style is not prepared for this …and that’s what Jiu-Jitsu was created for, for the little man to defend himself from the big man! That is martial arts, that is self-defense!!”
Of course, there has been some talk that Nurmagomedov is the lightweight GOAT that has caught the attention of Penn. The Dagestani native also said if Sambo was easy it would be called Jiu-Jitsu which Penn no doubt doesn’t agree with.