Over the weekend, in the co-main event of the stacked UFC 219, Dagestani lightweight contender Khabib Nurmagomedov picked up yet another dominant win, violating the dangerous Edson Barboza for three, lopsided rounds, and ultimately capturing a clear unanimous decision.
With this win, Nurmagomedov stands out as the clear-cut number one contender in the UFC lightweight division. The big question is whether his long-awaited title shot will come against undisputed champion Conor McGregor or interim champion Tony Ferguson.
Should Nurmagomedov’s title shot occur against McGregor, he would enter the fight as a significant favorite, per the early betting line. In the opinion of Daniel Cormier, who is a long-time training partner of Nurmagomedov, these odds are fair. Though Cormier gives McGregor a chance at defeating Nurmagomedov, he believes Nurmagomedov would more than likely emerge the winner of this fight.
Daniel Cormier made his prediction for a Khabib Nurmagomedov versus Conor McGregor fight on Twitter.
70-80% Conor would have to knock him out or he would be in trouble. And I don’t know if anyone can knock him out unless he gets kicked in head or knee. No punch will do it. https://t.co/cHPShK6IoM
— Daniel Cormier (@dc_mma) January 2, 2018
“70-80%,” Cormier said when asked what chance he would give Nurmagomedov of unseating McGregor. “Conor would have to knock him out or he would be in trouble. And I don’t know if anyone can knock him out unless he gets kicked in head or knee. No punch will do it.”
With his defeat of Barboza, Nurmagomedov improved to an insane 25-0 overall. Other highlights of his ridiculous record include lopsided defeats of Abel Trujillo, Rafael dos Anjos and Michael Johnson.
McGregor, meanwhile, is 21-3. Though his last contest occurred in the boxing ring, where he lost to undefeated legend Floyd Mayweather, he is on a two-fight streak as a mixed martial artist, having recently bested Nate Diaz and Eddie Alvarez.
Who do you think wins a fight between Khabib Nurmagomedov and Conor McGregor?
This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 1/2/2018.