The former UFC lightweight champion Conor Mcgregor hasn’t set foot inside the Octagon since his historic UFC 205 victory over Eddie Alvarez back in 2016, but Notorious has been in the news lately for all the wrong reasons.
Irishman is expected to take on undefeated Khabib Nurmagomedov for lightweight showdown in the coming months, but before that, he has to get through his court hearing on July 26 for his antics where he threw a metal dolly into a window on a bus loaded with fellow UFC fighters who were attending a media event for the UFC 223 fight.
Coach Owen Roddy at the launch of the all-new SBG Charlestown gym, saying a collision with Khabib is near, especially if a fight that’s fan favorite. (Via MMAFighting)
“I’d love to see [the Diaz] fight again — a trilogy fight would be awesome — but I always [think about] what’s getting the most attention and the Khabib fight seems to be brewing up nicely. The fans are really getting behind it,”
“I never thought the Mayweather fight was going to happen, but when the fans got behind it and then when Mayweather started talking you knew it was going to happen.”
McGregor quickly established himself as one of the UFC’s most talked-about fighter after signing up in early 2013 with his trash-talk persona, but over the years his bravado has become noticeably more bullish.
Last we saw Mcgregor fighting was against pugilist Floyd Mayweather Jr. in their boxing pay-per-view match, while Irishman lost via 10th-round TKO. However, Mcgregor reportedly made a hefty payday, and the fight was a massive success financially as per Dana White.
Mcgregor’s infamous bus rampage prompted some to argue that the incident was more of getting back into the limelight, rather than any serious animosity towards Khabib Nurmagomedov.
“It’s not staged at all. At the end of the day, especially if you’re fighting Conor, he’s going in to kill you,” explained Roddy. “If you’re at a press conference with him he’ll go at you; it would take a lot for him not to go at you. The only thing that would stop him is if he’d lose a few bob [some money] for it, and rightfully so,” said Roddy.
“If you sign to fight him he’s looking to inflict as much damage as he can, as quickly as he can. After the fight, he gives every one of his opponents the respect they deserve. A lot of fighters make excuses but he’ll stand by what happens in any fight and he’ll give you the respect you deserve, but beforehand he doesn’t like you and he’s going in to dismantle you.”
Other than Khabib fight, Mcgregor can likely face Max Holloway for featherweight title fight or a super fight against Georges St-Pierre.
All these fighters pose different risks, but the coach is confident that Mcgregor can easily find flaws in them.
“[GSP] is one of the best to ever do it. He has a tricky code to crack, most definitely. Same with Khabib, that style is [tricky], but you can come up with plans to beat them,” said Roddy. “Nobody is perfect. There are flaws in everyone’s game — there are flaws in Khabib’s game and there are flaws in GSP’s game.
“They both do what they do really well, but at the end of the day, for me, what Conor has over all of them is he’s so good at landing shots, he lands a shot within the first minute and 99 percent of people can’t take it. In those small gloves, he is going to catch you, he’s going to catch you on the chin or on the temple and there are very few people who can deal with that.
“Once that happens it doesn’t matter how good you are anywhere. Once you’re rocked everything goes out the window and you’re on autopilot. You don’t want to be fighting him on autopilot because he just sets traps and he puts people away.”
Mcgregor’s fight style is more of stand-up game, so Khabib and St-Pierre would be the worst matchup for him because both GSP and Nurmagomedov’s ground game is dominant; however, Irishman has gotten past some wrestlers in the past, but they aren’t of the same league. But Irishman’s team is well trained who can help him with his weakness to take any challenge in the world.
“Every fight is exciting, it’s like, ‘How do we approach this guy? What’s he going to come up with? What threats does he have and where are his flaws?’” Roddy explained.
“We’ll find the threats and look at how to nullify them. Then we look at the flaws and see how we capitalize on them. It’s not just me, it’s a team effort: it’s John [Kavanagh], it’s Conor — Conor has a huge input on what shots he uses. He’s such a smart fighter. People think he just goes in and lands the left hand, but it’s everything before — he’s leading people into that position and he’s very good at doing that.
John is very good at what he does, I’m very good at what I do. If we’re fighting wrestlers Sergey [Pikulskiy] comes in and he’s a phenomenal wrestling coach. And Dillon [Danis] will be there. It’s a phenomenal team and we have all angles covered.”
Regardless who Mcgregor fight in his UFC return, a victory over Khabib or GSP definitely lands Mcgregor in the list of the greatest fighter of all time.