Coach: “I would almost bet anything” that Khabib Nurmagomedov vs. Conor McGregor fight happens in 2018

John Kavanagh, Conor McGregor

John Kavanagh, Conor McGregor’s head coach at SBG Ireland, is very confident the Irish superstar will return to the UFC’s Octagon this year — and most likely to a battle with new UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov.

Kavanagh shared his confidence in a possible Nurmagomedov vs. McGregor fight during a conversation with Robin Black in Dublin.

“Yeah, so, it’s the obvious fight, as his coach and as a fan of MMA, it’s the fight I want to see,” Kavanagh told Blac, when asked about the matchup (transcribed by Jim Edwards for MMANytt). “I would almost bet anything that this fight happens before the end of the year.

“I can’t imagine it not happening.”

Interestingly, this comments from Kavanagh are in keeping with some recent comments from Nurmagomedov himself, who claimed the UFC was actively working on a fight with McGregor.

“Very soon I’m going to come to USA, to California and begin my training camp,” Nurmagomedov said on the social media platform Live Raise.

“When the UFC give me fight I’m going to come to California and I’m going to stay at [American Kickboxing Academy] for nine weeks with my family before the fight and I’m going to defend my title.”

“This year I want to defend my title. About opponents? I don’t know to be honest. I don’t know, but the UFC are working on a fight versus Conor [McGregor].”

Conor McGregor has not competed since August of 2017, when he came up short in a blockbuster boxing match with undefeated legend of pugilism Floyd Mayweather Jr. His last MMA bout occurred in November of 2016, when he knocked out Eddie Alvarez to capture the UFC lightweight title.

Khabib Nurmagomedov, meanwhile, recently captured the lightweight belt that was quietly stripped from the long-absent McGregor, defeating last-minute replacement Al Iaquinta by decision in March.

Do you think we’ll see Conor McGregor and Khabib Nurmagomedov fight this year?

This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 6/25/2018.