On October 6, in the main event of UFC 229, former UFC lightweight and featherweight camp Conor McGregor will return to the Octagon to battle UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov.
File Khabib Nurmagomedov’s father Abdulmanap into that category.
“[Conor McGregor] will not earn the same money in any other fight,” Abdulmanap told Alexander Lyutikov recently (via MMA Fighting). “Of course he understands that the five-round fight against Khabib will be a nightmare for him. He just has the puncher’s chance, but Khabib has never been knocked down. He’s never even been wobbled. I think Khabib’s chin is strong enough for the lightweight and welterweight divisions.
“Physically and tactically, Khabib is stronger than Conor. Khabib has better cardio than Conor and 100 percent Khabib has better wrestling and grappling. We will choke him out when we decide to do it. Of course, Conor’s left hand is very dangerous and he can throw the right uppercut. That’s all. Nothing else.”
McGregor’s main challenge at UFC 229 will be Khabib Nurmagomedov’s wrestling. And while the Irishman will certainly bring in some top level grapplers to help him prepare, Abdulmanap doesn’t think it will be enough.
“Let’s put together the best wrestling coaches from Dagestan, Japan, USA, Turkey . . . even they will not be able to prepare McGregor for this fight in three months,” Abdulmanap said. “No one can help him. You can’t do that in such a short time. He needs to start studying it from the beginning. To improve his wrestling in several months, it’s impossible.
“[Conor is dangerous] for 8 to 9 minutes, no more. After the first clinch, Khabib will take him down. We will finish this fight when we want. We respect our fans. If they want to watch all five rounds, we will fight all five rounds. But after two rounds, he has nothing to do on his feet. After two rounds, he will not be able to do anything. We don’t want to lose even one round. Khabib has never lost a single round.
“Only a referee can protect Conor, that’s why he will be in the cage.”
Who do you think will come out on top when Khabib Nurmagomedov and Conor McGregor fight?
This article first appeared on BJPENN.COM on 8/12/2018.