There is already plenty of buzz about a potential rematch between UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov and the man he defeated in the UFC 229 main event, former two-division champ Conor McGregor. Yet in the eyes of Daniel Cormier — a long-time training partner of Nurmagomedov— McGregor’s team would have a real ’cause for concern’ in this potential rematch.
Daniel Cormier’s logic? Conor McGregor has already done about as well as he can do against Khabib Nurmagomedov — and that certainly wasn’t enough.
“Honestly man, that first takedown, I was like wow, he really made [Nurmagomedov] work for this takedown,” Daniel Cormier said of Conor McGregor on The MMA Hour (transcript via MMA Fighting). “Because this is what we say at [American Kickboxing Academy] — we try to get you lost in the sauce. We want to get you lost in the sauce, right? Like, when we’re on a leg, we want to give you one [takedown attempt]; okay, you’ll defend; two, you’ll defend; three, then you start going, ‘okay, wait a minute,’ then you start to get lost. You get lost in all the different transitions, from to move to move to move, and eventually we get you down. And once we get you down, obviously it’s very difficult to get back up.
“[McGregor] didn’t get lost in it. Like, Khabib had to go to level four to get that first takedown,” Daniel Cormier continued. “He went high crotch, he went crackdown, he went ‘try to get the angle,’ he tried to run the pipe, then he actually had to go to his knees, look across the back to get to a double just to get Conor down the first time. Conor didn’t get lost. He really did a good job, and that’s why if you’re Team McGregor, there’s cause for concern, because I don’t know if he could do that any better and he still got beat in the way that he got beat.
“That’s why, I think if you’re Team McGregor, you’d be concerned about a fight with Nurmagomedov, because I don’t think he could defend any better,” Cormier concluded. “I thought was as good as [he could do], because he did a good job and I don’t know if he could do it any better … because then [Nurmagomedov] is going to go to level five, and he going to go to level six, and he’s going to just keep putting different things behind each other until eventually you kinda can’t keep up.”
What do you think of Daniel Cormier’s thoughts on a rematch between Conor McGregor and Khabib Nurmagomedov?
This article first appeared on BJPENN.COM on 10/16/2018.