Ahead of Khabib Nurmagomedov’s lightweight title defense against Justin Gaethje at UFC 254, UFC president Dana White has heaped praise on the Russian star, saying he has the skills to be the greatest fighter in MMA history.

White was talking to reporters in the lead-up to UFC 254, which takes place Saturday on UFC Fight Island in Abu Dhabi. Khabib registered his most recent title defense in the Emirate, and he’s looking to repeat the feat with victory over interim champion Gaethje, who many believe will be the toughest test of the Russian champ’s career so far.

Victory for Khabib will improve his perfect professional record to 29-0 and, according to white, it will edge him one step closer to being considered the greatest fighter of all time.

“Khabib is looking down the barrel of not only being the greatest to ever do it in this division – if he beats Justin, he’s the number one pound-for-pound fighter in the world, he’s on his way to GOAT status,” said White.

“You have all the ingredients for a massive fight. You have a big superstar and a kid coming off an incredible win over a highly respected fighter and many people believe that Justin has the style to beat him.

“You think you know what these guys are going to do, but when they get in there anything is possible.”

Khabib captured the UFC lightweight title with a unanimous decision victory over Al Iaquinta at UFC 223, and has defended it twice with submission finishes of Conor McGregor and Dustin Poirier to cement his position as the world’s premier 155-pound fighter.

Now he’s looking to move on to 29-0 with victory over Gaethje and go one step closer to his goal of going 30 fights undefeated.