It may not have sounded as though he has much respect for Conor McGregor when he labelled the Irishman a “chicken” in his post-fight interview at UFC 205, but Khabib Nurmagomedov has a healthy regard for ‘The Notorious’ one’s ability.
Or his striking ability at least.
Nurmagomedov, known for his legitimately nightmarish grappling game, was tagged several times and seemingly wobbled in the early stages of his fight with Michael Johnson at Madison Square Garden a little over a week ago, after choosing to trade punches with the American. It made many people wonder about how Khabib would cope with McGregor’s sublime striking skills and pulverizing power.
However, in a recent interview with RT Sport, ‘The Eagle’ revealed that he has no intention of standing with the now two-weight UFC champion should they meet.
“Conor is a very good striking guy – everybody knows this,” said Nurmagomedov. “He has very good boxing, timing, his counter-punching is very good. But everybody knows, I have top-control, wrestling, pressure. Why do I need to stay standing up with him? I’m going to take him down, I’m going to slap him, make him nervous, talk with him and make him give up.”
It should probably be noted that this plan bears many similarities to that of McGregor’s most recent opponent Eddie Alvarez, but the Philadelphia native failed to implement his wrestling skills with any regularity, either because of mistakes on his own part or simply because McGregor did not allow him to do so.
You can check out the entire interview, in which Khabib also reveals an interesting Conor McGregor-related theory on why he was demoted to the UFC 205 prelims, below…