There are several options on the table for the first title defense of new UFC lightweight champ Khabib Nurmagomedov. One is Dustin Poirier, who says he’s been contacted by Nurmagomedov’s camp to discuss a title fight. Another is Tony Ferguson, who’s been scheduled to fight Nurmagomedov a whopping four times to no avail in the past. And then, of course, there’s former UFC lightweight champ Conor McGregor, who’s beef with Nurmagomedov is currently absolutely sizzling.
Whether it serves as Nurmagomedov’s first title defense or not, UFC light heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier believes a Nurmagomedov vs. McGregor fight will happen in the near future. Given that he’s both a long-time Nurmagomedov training partner and a UFC analyst, Cormier’s confidence in this matchup occurring is certainly interesting.
“He’ll fight Conor McGregor,” Cormier said on a media tour promoting The Ultimate Fighter 27 (via MMAFighting). “It’s going to happen. I think because of the finances, it will be the most viable fight for [McGregor]. He created more interest in that fight with that crazy [rampage in Brooklyn] that he did. He’s going to get taken down and smashed.”
Cormier then assured that Nurmagomedov’s wrestling will simply be too much for McGregor.
“When I watch Conor fight Chad Mendes, Chad Mendes is a great wrestler but he’s small,” Cormier said. “He beat him up for two rounds. He beat Conor for two rounds until Conor got up.”
“He had done that for two straight rounds on 10 days’ notice. He ain’t getting up like Al Iaquinta got up [against Nurmagomedov],” he added. “You see what happens when you get stuck under Khabib. You become frickin’ Edson Barboza and Michael Johnson.”
Interestingly, Cormier believes that Nurmagomedov will not only beat McGregor, but also everybody else he faces, until he decides to hang up the gloves—which might occur sooner than we think.
“[Nurmagomedov will] be the only guy that never loses,” Cormier explained. “He’s not going to lose, man. They won’t know how to deal with him. He’s going to be the only guy that goes through this whole thing without losing. Because I’m not sure he’s going to be here that long. But while he’s here, nobody’s going to beat him.”
What do you think of Daniel Cormier’s take on a Khabib Nurmagomedov vs. Conor McGregor fight?
This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 4/18/2018.