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Nikita Krylov: You can't compare Fedor and Khabib, but Nurmagomedov is 'new era'

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VANCOUVER, British Columbia – Russia is known for its big pool of talent in MMA, and some are wondering if lightweight Khabib Nurmagomedov is the greatest Russian fighter of all time.

The undefeated Nurmagomedov (28-0 MMA, 12-0 UFC) is coming off a third-round finish over Dustin Poirier at UFC 242 for his second title defense. At 28-0, some are starting to question if Nurmagomedov is the most dominant force we’ve ever seen in MMA.

But when speaking of Russian greats, you can’t not mention Fedor Emelianenko (38-6 MMA), whom some consider the greatest fighter, period. Emelianenko, a former PRIDE heavyweight champion, took out a list of legends like Mirko Cro Cop, Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira, Mark Coleman and Andrei Arlovski en route to an incredible 27-fight unbeaten run.

But light heavyweight Nikita Krylov (26-6 MMA, 7-4 UFC), who takes on Glover Teixeira (29-7 MMA, 12-5 UFC) in the UFC on ESPN+ 16 co-main event on Saturday in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, said you simply can’t compare the two.

He said they were in different eras of the sport, but Nurmagomedov represents the future.

“Khabib is a great fighter,” Krylov said. “As you can see, the great time of Fedor already is finished, and Khabib can show a new era of fighting.

“We can’t compare Fedor and Khabib because Fedor was the No. 1 guy who just started in MMA and the UFC (was just starting). Khabib is now in a different time, and he’s a great fighter also.”

Krylov said he thinks Emelianenko, who’s remarkably still competing under the Bellator banner, has nothing left to prove.

“I still think Fedor is a good fighter and he still has a burn inside of him, but in general, he doesn’t need to prove himself anymore because he’s all done,” Krylov said. “He just created a new generation of fighters.”

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