Conor McGregor, UFC lightweight champ is the man to finish Khabib Nurmagomedov, according to coach John Kavanagh.
Earlier this week, news broke that interim UFC lightweight champion Tony Ferguson will square off against top contender Khabib Nurmagomedov at UFC 223 on April 7, essentially leaving McGregor’s Octagon return further up in the air.
McGregor’s coach speaking on a recent Q&A on Facebook – was confident in admitting he sees the bout going ahead this year, with a comfortable victory for his fighter. But coach, John Kavanagh, doesn’t know whether or not the UFC is going to strip Mcgregor of his lightweight championship in order to make Ferguson Vs. Nurmagomedov for the undisputed title.
“They’re on a path to meet each other, so I’m of course watching everything he does,”
If the undefeated Khabib manages to knock Tony Ferguson at UFC 223, coach John Kavanagh believes his unbeaten run would end against Conor McGregor. Most recently, Khabib is coming off a brutal decision win over veteran striker Edson Barboza back at UFC 219, but Kavanagh sees holes in Nurmagomedov’s stand-up game and didn’t impress the coach.
“In his last fight, I just think when you’re facing somebody with the type of stopping power Conor has in his hands, if you just stand very upright and look to walk towards somebody and get a body lock, that’s a risky strategy. “Now, Barboza is a great kicker, but trying spinning kicks on someone who can close distance quickly like Khabib and has a body lock heavy grappling game, it’s maybe not the best idea.
“For somebody who can make people overextend themselves and who has genuine one punch knockout power – and we’ve seen Khabib get rocked by Michael Johnson for example – I find it hard to envisage anything other than Conor knocking him out.”
While he praises Nurmagomedov for his annihilation of Brazilian striker Edson Barboza, John Kavanagh feels that McGregor offers something that the Brazilian doesn’t – one-punch knockout power.
“(To cut a) long story short, I think within two rounds Conor would knock him out,” Kavanagh explained. “I think it would be maybe like the Eddie Alvarez fight, and he would stop him in the second.”
Kavanagh isn’t taking this challenge lightly. He knows Nurmagomedov offers some of the best grappling in the game today.
“He’s a different level of grappling with that intensity that he brings,” Kavanagh said. “It’s just a dangerous strategy. When I looked at how he closed distance in the Johnson fight compared with the Barboza fight, to me he hadn’t evolved an awful lot.”
Let’s say, If Conor McGregor could destroy Nurmagomedov like he did Alvarez, his legacy as one of the greatest fighters ever would surely be cemented.