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Carlos Barreto Suggests Khabib Nurmagomedov Could Win 170-Pound Title

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Former Ultimate Fighting Championship
fighter-turned-commentator Carlos
Barreto believes Khabib
Nurmagomedov could be a threat in multiple divisions if he came
back.

On Jan. 30, manager Ali Abdelaziz posted on social
media
claiming that if Nurmagomedov (29-0) decided to come back
to the UFC, he could rule the roost in three different weight
classes. The renowned manager did mistake Israel
Adesanya as the beltholder at 185 pounds instead of Dricus Du
Plessis, but he pitched a 2024 schedule for Nurmagomedov to win
in three divisions. First, Abdelaziz stated that Nurmagomedov would
start at middleweight in April, move up to light heavyweight in
July and then drop to 170 pounds in December to become the first
simultaneous three-division champ in a major organization.

This fantasy matchmaking against Adesanya, Alex
Pereira and Leon
Edwards, the manager claimed his fighter would be a
“statistically bad nightmare for all these guys.”

UFC Fight Pass Brazil commentator Barreto, on his podcast Papo de
Luta, weighed in on the bold claim on Monday.

“I think Aziz exaggerated a bit on his idolatry for Khabib,” the
UFC 15 competitor admitted. “Don’t get me wrong, I respect
Nurmagomedov a lot, no doubt the Russian is among the greatest [in
the history] of the sport, but we must [remember] that he has
vulnerabilities on his game that were not exposed by the top five
guys he faced in his generation.”

The Carlson Gracie black belt weighed in on all three of the
fighters that Abdelaziz noted, expressing some doubt as to how
successful Nurmagomedov would be in these new weight classes. Early
in his career, “The Eagle” fought at welterweight, with his biggest
win at 170 pounds over future ACA champ Ali Bagov.

“Izzy gets really vulnerable on the fence, as [Sean]
Strickland showed us, probably Khabib could take him down, but
I’m not sure for how long he could keep himself on top. He could
win by points; ‘Poatan’ fights in a different way that makes the
opponents exchange blows with him. Besides, [Pereira is] much
bigger and a sniper, so I think he would be a problem to Khabib.
Concerning Edwards, even evolving his overall game, I believe
Khabib could take him down and impose his game. But we also have to
be concerned all the time that Khabib is away from the octagon and
many other factors. After all, MMA is not video game,” “Carlao”
concluded.

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