We are only an hour away from a press conference officially announcing Khabib Nurmagomedov’s fight with Tony Ferguson. As of right now, it’s for the interim UFC lightweight title, but there have been talks that it will eventually be for the undisputed title and that Conor McGregor will be stripped of his second title. His coach John Kavanagh —and we’re assuming the man himself — has shrugged this decision off, stating that he’ll have to be beaten in order for the UFC to crown a true champ. But being beaten is an easier said than done, even if McGregor steps into the Octagon again according to Kavanagh, who predicts a knockout if the Irishman collides with the Russian smashing machine.
“I do think this is the immovable object and the unstoppable force. [Khabib Nurmagomedov and Conor McGregor are] on a path to meet each other. I’m of course watching everything that he does. In his last fight, I just think when you’re facing somebody with the type of stopping power Conor has in his hands, if you stand very much upright and just kind of walk toward somebody to get a body lock, that’s a risky strategy. I find it hard to visualize anything else other than Conor knocking him out.
That Dagestani was dog shit the other night you’s are all nuts. Game full of sloppy bums asking to be slept. Pay me my worth and Kings back.
— Conor McGregor (@TheNotoriousMMA) January 1, 2018
“We have to be ready because he’s shown he can walk through some shots and there will be those grappling exchanges, so we’ve got to be in incredible shape, in great shape. We’ve got to be ready for his chain wrestling and how he puts his takedowns together. But that’s a match-up as a fan I’d love to see. I think it’s an ultimate striker vs. grappler match-up. I think Conor’s striking, with his submission game as well, would cause problems. But long story short, within two rounds I think Conor would knock him out. I think it would be a little bit like the Eddie Alvarez fight, and he was stopped in the second.” — Coach John Kavanagh speaking on Facebook Live via MMA Junkie.
No matter how dangerous the fighter, Conor McGregor definitely has proven he has upset potential if the fight stays on the feet. Despite public opinion or criticisms about his career choices, the only tarnish on his career has always been his ground game. He was taking down at will in his fight with Chad Mendes, but was injured and it also worked in his strategy to tire the featherweight contender out. He was submitted by Nate Diaz at welterweight, but also avenged his loss in the rematch. No doubt if McGregor catches Khabib Nurmagomedov coming in, it could be lights out, but if he manages to get he champion down like he has everyone else, that is where the fight gets really interesting.
This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 1/19/2018.