After watching Khabib Nurmagomedov eat Edson Barboza alive last night, many fight fans now believe the Russian is a nightmare matchup for Conor McGregor. While MMA analyst and current Bellator star Chael Sonnen believes this is true if Nurmagomedov can take Conor McGregor down, he believes McGregor could also pose some problems for Nurmagomedov on the feet.
Here’s how Sonnen broke it down.
“When I’m watching Khabib, I’m thinking about Conor,” he said. “What would Conor do with him? Conor’s going to have big problems. If Khabib gets on top of him, he’s going to beat the hell out of him like he does everybody else. Make no mistake. However, Khabib shows his chin, and Khabib keeps his hands down. He’s done this with all of his previous opponents, and he deals with it. He’s been hit a few times, and he’s paid for it, but he deals with those shots and walks right through ’em. He did it with Barboza [at UFC 219]. He didn’t take those big shots, but he was open for them. And when you’ve got a precision striker like Conor McGregor that can control that distance and step in at any time with a big left hand, I think it’s room for alarm. Is that enough? Is that enough to hang your hat on if you’re a fan of the Irishman? I’m not certain about that. I’m not certain that Khabib wouldn’t come through that. I’m not certain that Khabib couldn’t take a few of those shots. But I thought that Eddie could too, and I thought that Aldo could to, and I thought Mendes could too, so you make your own decision there. Very interesting fight, and should that happen, I think it’s more clear than ever, based on what we saw tonight, it’s important for Conor to keep it standing, it’s important for Khabib to get it down. I do think Conor could whip his ass on his feet. But I know Khabib could whip Conor’s ass if he got him down.”
What do you think of Chael Sonnen’s take on a potential showdown between Khabib Nurmagomedov and Conor McGregor?
This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 31/12/2017.