The McGregor vs Nurmagomedov battle set to take place at UFC 229 is picking up steam as one of the most anticipated in history. McGregor makes a heroic to the cage after an unsuccessful foray into the world of boxing. His MMA record of 21-3-0 along with two titles is nothing to be sneezed at. His opponent Khabib, is, however, undefeated and himself a title holder in his own right. The fight is being heavily billed as a grappler (Nurmagomedov) vs a striker.
This sets an interesting matchup. Obviously, both are highly trained in both floor and feet-based fighting however as with anything, they have emerged as having preferences for one or the other. Whilst Nurmagomedov has demonstrated that he can do both frequently. McGregor’s only three losses have come via submission leading to most fans pigeon-holing the star somewhat. On the other Hand Dillion ‘El Jefe’ Danis, who will be there for McGregor’s training camp has come out defending the Irishman’s grappling abilities:
“People are just trying to put Conor like his grappling or his wrestling… he’s a complete fighter. You don’t become the double champ with just striking. He’s a different kind of level. He’s an amazing athlete. I think people are going to be surprised to see his whole game.” And just because he has been out of the game for a few years, don’t expect that McGregor will be anything less than his ferocious best when he dives back in later this year.
Dana White still rates him as one of the best fighters in the world and has passed comment Conor is decidedly underrated in MMA circles these days. “Every time Conor McGregor comes out to fight somebody new and it’s a wrestler or it’s whatever, this is the fight that Conor is going to lose. He said that he would knock out Jose Aldo the way he did it, he said he would do it in the first round.
A lot of people picked him to lose to Eddie Alvarez because of Eddie Alvarez’s style and wrestling. Look how he looked there. Leading up to the fight when he fought Chad Mendes — Chad Mendes is a wrestler, everybody believed that he would do that. Then after [Conor] won everybody said that Chad Mendes didn’t have enough time to train for it. The list goes on and on.” But let’s not forget how he got this reputation, and yes, Nurmagomedov backers have every right to be nervous when he can do things like this right from the opening bell!