Joe Rogan: Unbeaten Khabib Nurmagomedov Is \'most Terrifying Lightweight Contender\'

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Longtime UFC commentator Joe Rogan has nothing but praise for Khabib Nurmagomedov following his blowout performance against Edson Barboza at UFC 219.

Nurmagomedov (25-0 MMA, 9-0 UFC) returned to action from a nearly 14-month layoff at the Dec. 30 event in Las Vegas and provided a stern reminder of his ability. He completely dominated Barboza (19-5 MMA, 13-5 UFC) for three rounds, winning a unanimous decision by scores of 30-25, 30-25 and 30-24.

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The Brazilian was completely at the mercy of Nurmagomedov’s game. “The Eagle” said he used the octagon time to get himself back in a proper groove after so much time off, and although a finish would have been nice, Rogan explained on a recent edition of the “JRE MMA Show” podcast that the 15-minute performance was just as frightening as a quick knockout or submission.

“He’s just on such another level that the odds of beating him drop significantly after the first minute-and-a-half,” Rogan said. “You saw the look on Barboza’s face: Two minutes in and he’s trying to get up. You saw the look on his face and it’s like, ‘(Expletive), how am I gong to do deal with this?’ It’s just so next level.”

In the time since Nurmagomedov got his head raised at UFC 219, the 155-pound title picture has become even more intriguing. The Russian got into a Twitter feud with UFC lightweight champ Conor McGregor (21-3 MMA, 9-1 UFC), but Nurmagomedov also said he’s more interested in fighting interim titleholder Tony Ferguson (23-3 MMA, 13-1 UFC), who he has been scheduled to fight on three separate occasions, but would also face both champs on the same night if he could.

>Related>Khabib Nurmagomedov camped out at Dana White's car after dominant UFC 219 win

The natural order of the weight class should see McGregor fight Ferguson in a unification bout, while Nurmagomedov gets a crack at the winner. It remains to be seen if that’s how the situation will play out, but Rogan made it clear he feels anyone who steps in the octagon with Nurmagomedov is going to have a lot to worry about.

“Khabib, after this performance, has set it up to a place where he’s the most terrifying lightweight contender in the world,” Rogan said. “Then you have Tony Ferguson, whose a (expletive), and has the interim championship, then you have Conor – who knows what happens with him? I think the UFC’s going to give him some time, let the holidays pass, see what the (expletive) happens and then make some moves.”

For complete coverage of UFC 219, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

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