On October 6, in the main event of UFC 229, former UFC featherweight and lightweight champion Conor McGregor will attempt to steal the lightweight belt from reigning champion Khabib Nurmagomedov.
Nurmagomedov, of course, is one of the best grapplers in mixed martial arts. He might be the sport’s best grappler period. So, if Conor McGregor is going to take his title, he’s going to need to be well prepared.
Former UFC middleweight champion Michael Bisping, who has evolved into one of the sport’s premier analysts and commentators, is worried Conor McGregor has not adequately prepared for Nurmagomedov’s world-class grappling. Based on what he’s seen if the Irishman’s camp, there’s a real lack of top level wrestlers and jiu jitsu players helping McGregor prepare.
“The thing that concerns me if I’m pro-McGregor is that when I look at his social media and then his coach John Kavanagh, when you look at his social media, and you look at what’s happening in the gym you don’t see a lot of big hardcore wrestlers that they’ve brought in specifically for this training camp,” Michael Bisping said of Conor McGregor’s prep on a recent episode of the Believe You Me podcast (transcript via MMA News). “I’m not seeing that. I don’t see a lot of jiu-jitsu experts, I don’t see Dillon Danis in there, I don’t see these Russians that they’ve brought in. Now as I said, they might have brought in some Bulgarians or some Russians, or some American wrestlers but I don’t see it.”
While Michael Bisping’s concerns are valid, it’s worth noting that Dillon Danis does appear to be helping Conor McGregor prepare for his looming challenge (based on Danis and McGregor’s Instagram pages). McGregor has also brought in Chechen middleweight BJJ specialist Ayub Magomadov, and worked with Moldovan wrestler Kosti Gnusariov.
Do you think Conor McGregor will be adequately prepared for the fearsome grappling of Khabib Nurmagomedov?
This article first appeared on BJPENN.COM on 9/19/2018.