Khabib Nurmagomedov demolishes Edson Barboza

Khabib Nurmagomedov demolishes Edson Barboza

Khabib Nurmagomedov pummeled Edson Barboza to stay unbeaten in his MMA career.(Photo: Gary A. Vasquez, USA TODAY Sports)LAS VEGAS — Before his mauling

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Khabib Nurmagomedov pummeled Edson Barboza to stay unbeaten in his MMA career.(Photo: Gary A. Vasquez, USA TODAY Sports)LAS) VEGAS — Before his mauling of Edson Barboza at UFC 219 on Saturday night, many called Khabib Nurmagomedov the best fighter in the organization without a title to his name.Following an overwhelmingly one-sided unanimous decision triumph to complete his 25th straight win, that description almost sounds like an insult.

No matter what the pound-for-pound rankings say, and until someone can prove otherwise, the Russian has earned the right to be considered as one of the sport’s very best — no qualifier needed.For three consecutive rounds at T-Mobile Arena, Nurmagomedov, the UFC’s No. 2-ranked lightweight, worked Barboza over, taking him to the canvas at will and delivering heavy punishment once there.

Conor McGregor, beware.McGregor still holds the lightweight title that he captured last November but has not defended it since. Tony Ferguson is the interim champion, after Nurmagomedov was taken ill with weight-cutting issues hours before the pair were due to meet earlier this year.

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