The next crack at UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov is expected to go to Tony Ferguson. Yet the former champion Conor McGregor remains just a short distance from another shot at the belt, which means he’ll likely be watching this expected Nurmagomedov vs. Ferguson fight very closely.
Speaking at an event Kyiv, Ukraine, McGregor discussed a fight between Nurmagomedov and Ferguson, and offered a prediction as to the outcome of this massive showdown.
He believes Ferguson is game, but having seen the American dropped by strikes and out-grappled previously, gives the edge to Nurmagomedov.
“It will be an interesting one. I think Khabib would probably beat him,” McGregor said of the matchup (via MMA Junkie). “Again, you’ve got to see what the circumstances are. Anyone can win on any given day. Tony is a formidable fighter also, you know. He’s very, very tough. He does go down, he does get dropped, his guard has been passed, he’s been mounted by a lesser fighter, so I would favor Khabib in that bout.”
McGregor has not fought since late 2018, when he failed to swipe the title from Nurmagomedov, losing by fourth-round submission. In hindsight, he believes he was too wary of his rival’s striking, and not respectful enough of Nurmagomedov’s striking.
“We overestimated his grappling severely, and we also underestimated his striking, so there are things that we will correct,” McGregor said. “I will go on the offensive from a grappling standpoint. I believe I was winning the clinch exchanges in Round 3 in the bout, but it was a little too late. A little too little too late in the bout and also my lack of commitment, and I wasn’t as fully committed as I should be, carrying injuries and what not, so there’s many many things we can improve and sharpen up when the rematch happens.”
What do you think of this prediction from Conor McGregor?
This article first appeared on BJPENN.COM on 10/23/2019.