Conor McGregor’s striking abilities need no introduction. The Irishman has finished 18 of his 21 wins by knockout. He wastes no times getting the job done either, with 13 of the knockouts he has administered coming in the first round. Such makes for the anticipation of huge fireworks when the Irishman takes on Russian Khabib Nurmagomedov on October 6th. The bookies have backed Conor in to win the first round, but his odds drop off significantly after that. Pretty much is he is going to beat the Russian, he needs to do it early.
Although many believe Conor is the best striker in the UFC today, Nurmagomedov was tested at UFC 205 by another great striker, Michael Johnson. There is resounding support for the McGregor camp saying that is Johnson could land the flurries he did to rattle the Russian in the first round, then the Irishman should be able to do the same and bring the anticipated bout to an abrupt first-round end.
The footage that pro-McGregor pundits refer to is below and came in the opening round of the UFC 205 fight. Johnson was able to rock Nurmagomedov on three separate occasions with his combinations. It wasn’t until later in the round that the Russian gained the upper hand, managing to get ‘The Menace’ up against the cage before taking him down, wrapping him up and teeing off on him.
Whilst the fight lasted until the third round, and ended up as a very one-sided affair in the Russian’s favour, Johnson’s landed strikes showed significant chinks in his defences that McGregor and his team will be hoping to exploit. Let’s not forget, however, that this is now common knowledge, and you can bet that Nurmagomedov and his team are focusing on this aspect of his game in preparation for the showdown with the best striker in the business.