One of the biggest fights that could possibly be made in MMA today is a showdown between undefeated UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov, and former champion Conor McGregor.
This potential matchup has fans divided right down the middle, as some firmly believe that Nurmagomedov would pound McGregor into applesauce on the mat, while others feel McGregor’s crackling firepower would be more than enough to put Nurmagomedov down.
Former UFC lightweight champion Eddie Alvarez certainly sees both sides of this argument, and gives both men a solid chance in the fight. Ultimately, however, he thinks Nurmagomedov would have a slight edge, based on his incredible grappling skill.
“Styles make match-ups,” Alvarez told ESNEWS (transcribed by Abhinav Kini for IBTimes.com). “I think if Khabib does not correct the mistake of sitting back with his chin back and going to the side, Conor’s going to put his lights out with that left hand pretty bad, pretty quickly. So he needs to correct that mistake and he needs to learn to relax in the pocket and know that he’s safe. Until he does that, he’s always in danger of getting beat by a guy with knockout power like Conor McGregor.”
“But Conor McGregor on his back, I don’t feel like he has a strong spirit for fighting on the ground,” Alvarez continued. “Some guys have a real strong spirit, they can stand up all day for five, ten rounds as long as they’re standing up but when it goes to the ground their spirit weakens.”
“I don’t think Conor has a strong enough spirit to be able to withstand Khabib’s ground attack over and over. So I’d have to give the edge to Khabib because I feel like there will be takedowns and Conor will not get up and I don’t know if he has the spirit to stay in the fight with a ground fight where Khabib is controlling fifteen to twenty minutes of a twenty-five minute fight. I’d have to give the edge to Khabib.”
What do you think of Eddie Alvarez’s prediction for a possible Conor McGregor vs. Khabib Nurmagomedov fight?
This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 4/16/2018.