If Conor McGregor returns to the cage for a fight with UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov, it could easily be the toughest test of his career thus far. All the same, his team sounds prepared to meet that challenge with a carefully constructed game plan.
McGregor’s striking coach Owen Roddy discussed potential strategies for Nurmagomedov in a recent interview with MMAjunkie.
“We all sit down, and we look at where the holes are and what we can do to exploit the opponent,” Roddy said. “Khabib brings a lot of problems, as do all fighters. But he’s not bulletproof. It’s not an impossible code to crack.”
“You just have to see where those openings are and put the shots in,” he said. “So that would be my role. Obviously, we would be bringing in a wrestling coach, and John [Kavanagh] would be working the overall game and jiu-jitsu game.
“It’s another day at the office. It’s great fun fighting these different opponents that bring different threats. It’s always exciting to try to come up with a game plan to beat them, and that’s what we do. We try stuff. If it works, we keep it. If it doesn’t work, we get rid of it.”
While Roddy believes Nurmagomedov possesses some solid striking of his own, he believes McGregor is lightyears ahead in this department, which could be the path to victory.
“Khabib’s striking… it’s good,” he said. “It’s [worked for] him in his other fights, but he’s definitely not at the level of striking that Conor’s at. Nobody is. Conor’s by far the best striker in MMA, in my opinion.”
“There are always openings, whether you’re a wrestler or a kickboxer or jiu-jitsu guy,” he added. “The fight always starts standing, so there’s always opportunities to land strikes, and everybody leaves openings. I’m sure we can land shots on Khabib – most definitely.”
Do you think Conor McGregor could stop the juggernaut that is Khabib Nurmagomedov?
This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 6/26/2018.