Khabib Nurmagomedov said he'd fight Michael Jordan if he could fight any celebrity

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Khabib Nurmagomedov said he'd fight Michael Jordan if he could fight any celebrity
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Khabib Nurmagomedov and Michael Jordan.
Khabib Nurmagomedov and Michael Jordan.Photo by Getty Images
  • Michael Jordan has been called out.

  • Ahead of his UFC Hall of Fame induction, MMA fighter Khabib Nurmagomedov said he'd want to fight the NBA icon.

  • "I think I could take him down," the former UFC champ said.

LAS VEGAS — Michael Jordan better watch out.

Speaking to ESPN social while on the red carpet ahead of his UFC Hall of Fame induction at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Khabib Nurmagomedov picked the NBA GOAT as a celebrity he would fight if he could.

"Michael Jordan. Yes. Do you want to know why? Because I think I could take him down," Nurmagomedov said.

A former UFC lightweight champion who retired from the sport at the top of his game with a 29-0 record, Nurmagomedov was enshrined permanently by the UFC's Hall, remembered as an exciting ground-and-pound master.

Khabib Nurmagomedov walks the red carpet.
Khabib Nurmagomedov walks the red carpet.Photo by Getty Images

The Dagestan wrestler put his region of Russia on the MMA map.

Nurmagomedov beat a who's who of top tier 155-pounders during his heyday, including Rafael dos Anjos, Al Iaquinta, Conor McGregor, Dustin Poirier, and Justin Gaethje.

He has lofty ambitions in his post-fight career, as he owns the combat sports firm Eagle Fighting Championship, and helps train and corner exciting up-and-comers Islam Makhachev, Umar Nurmagomedov, and Usman Nurmagomedov.

Khabib Nurmagomedov gets inducted into UFC's Hall of Fame.
Khabib Nurmagomedov gets inducted into UFC's Hall of Fame.Photo by Getty Images

Jordan, one of the NBA's greatest competitors, won six NBA championships in the 1990s and is arguably the most famous basketball player of all time.

It is not the first time Nurmagomedov has spoken about Jordan

Basketball fan Nurmagomedov was laughing after he said he'd like to take Jordan down, and has spoken positively about the Chicago Bulls legend before.

"I really want to meet Michael Jordan," Nurmagomedov said once on the Full Send podcast.

He later added that he became interested in Jordan because of The Last Dance documentary mini-series that was co-produced by ESPN Films and Netflix.

NBA superstar Michael Jordan.
NBA superstar Michael Jordan.Photo by Getty Images

"I watched his documentary because I'm working on my documentary, and it was very interesting to watch," said Nurmagomedov.

"My friend advised me, 'You have to watch this. It's very impressive.' Before his documentary, I didn't know about him much.

"I just knew Michael Jordan is the greatest basketball player, and that's it."

Khabib Nurmagomedov playing Dagestan basketball.
Khabib Nurmagomedov playing Dagestan basketball.Photo by Anatomy of a Fighter / YouTube

He continued: "In Dagestan, we don't follow the NBA much, and it was very impressive for me to watch, and I really want to meet this guy."

Nurmagomedov plays a popular style of basketball in Dagestan, though he said this style is "not like Michael Jordan."

The Dagestan version combines basketball, running, and wrestling.

There were other UFC Hall of Fame inductees Thursday

Nurmagomedov was joined Thursday in the Hall of Fame by his friend and fellow athlete Dan Cormier, a former two-weight UFC champion who remains employed at the Las Vegas-based fight promotion as a commentator.

Dan Cormier, UFC.
Dan Cormier, UFC.Photo by Getty Images

"Winning any UFC title is so hard," Cormier said at the ceremony. "To win one is an amazing accomplishment, to be a double champion is crazy.

"Don't allow for the bad to cripple you. Allow for it to serve as motivation to do something even bigger and better. Because if you get dealt adversity, if something bad happens and you quit, you'll never know what you truly can be."

The 2016 Fight of the Year between Cub Swanson and Dooho Choi was also inducted in the Hall's "Fight Wing." Giga Chikadze, meanwhile, earned the Forrest Griffin Community Award.

Read the original article on Insider