Khabib Nurmagomedov is on course to become the "GOAT" in the UFC, according to Dana White, but the fighter sees boxing icon Muhammad Ali "on a different level".
Lightweight champion Khabib is 28-0 heading into Saturday's fight with Justin Gaethje at UFC 254.
And president White suggests victory this weekend would represent a significant step towards the Russian being considered the greatest ever.
"Khabib is looking down the barrel of not just the greatest to ever do it in this division," he said.
"If he beats Justin on Saturday, he's the number one pound-for-pound fighter in the world and he's on his way to GOAT status."
But Khabib was then asked if he might soon be ranked alongside Ali and Mike Tyson, prompting a pessimistic answer.
"Muhammad Ali is on a different level," Khabib said. "Mike Tyson is almost the same level, but the personality of Muhammad Ali is a different level.
"For me to become like this is a really hard question. When I was growing up, I knew this guy was the greatest.
"I don't know if I can ever become close to these people. I didn't have this goal. I just want to win my fights.
"But we'll see in the future, because I'm not finished yet."
Despite some lofty goals, Khabib was reluctant to look beyond Gaethje, who is 22-2 and won the interim title against Tony Ferguson in May.
Asked what might be next if he defeated the American, Khabib - who has spoken of facing Georges St-Pierre - replied: "I don't like this word 'if'. You never know what's going to happen tomorrow.
"I'm focused on Justin Gaethje on Saturday night. What the UFC has after this fight you'd be better to ask this guy [White], because he calls us and then we talk about fights.
"What's going to happen after I don't know. Right now, I'm focused on Justin Gaethje."