At UFC 229, on October 6 in Las Vegas, Conor McGregor will make his long-awaited return to the Octagon, where he’s set to battle undefeated UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov.
This bout with Nurmagomedov, who is one of the most ferocious grapplers in MMA history, represents perhaps the toughest stylistic challenge of McGregor’s career. That said, Dillon Danis, who is McGregor’s chief jiu jitsu training partner, isn’t worried.
Danis believes McGregor has faced better grapplers than Nurmagomedov in the past — namely Chad Mendes, who he knocked out.
”Chad Mendes is a better wrestler than Khabib,” Danis said on Ariel Helwani’s ESPN MMA Show (transcript via MMAMania). “What credentials does Khabib have in wrestling? Maybe in sambo. Chad Mendes was second in NCAA.”
Danis also reminds that Nurmagomedov has been in danger on the feet in the past, particularly in his 2016 fight with Michael Johnson.
“Michael Johnson caught Khabib,” Danis said. “Michael Johnson is not at the level that Conor is.”
Interestingly, Dillon Danis even claimed that Conor McGregor would defeat Khabib Nurmagomedov in a pure grappling match.
”Conor could beat Khabib in a grappling match,” Danis said on Ariel Helwani’s MMA Show. “I think if you put them in a grappling match like ADCC, I think people would be surprised. Conor is a special athlete. The way he moves his body. He has the ability to move in certain ways and make passes and stuff. He’s a really good athlete.”
What do you think of Dillon Danis’ breakdown of Conor McGregor’s anticipated showdown with Khabib Nurmagomedov?
This article first appeared on BJPENN.COM on 8/7/2018.