Khabib Nurmagomedov’s Coach: ‘There’s No Way Possible We Can Prepare ‘The Eagle’ For Conor’s Striking’
After months of mystery when a former two-division champion Conor Mcgregor will return to Octagon, now we have a definitive answer to the lingering question, Irishman will challenge Khabib Nurmagomedov for a lightweight title in the main headliner of UFC 229 on October 6.
Both fighters are way different in regards to their fight style, as Nurmagomedov’s primary focus is a ground-and-pound game, while Mcgregor is the best and most widely known striker ever UFC has. Khabib who’s betting favorite has a chance to cement his legacy if he gets past Mcgregor. Meanwhile, Irishman who’s returning after two years of hiatus can turn the tables with his gameplan and have an opportunity to claim the title which belongs to him once.
American Kickboxing Academy head coach Javier Mendez who trained big names in the MMA, also a coach to Khabib express his fears that there is no possible way to prepare ‘The Eagle’ for Mcgregor’s striking. But Mendez wants Khabib to stick to his ground and pound game and not to go, rogue, as he did in his previous fight against Al Iaquinta at UFC 223.
“To me [Conor McGregor] is the best standup guy in the whole UFC, in my opinion,” the AKA head coach told Niall McGrath on the latest episode of the Eurobash podcast. (Via MMAFighting)
“He’s got incredible relaxation, he approaches it like a scientist, he knows how to read you, he knows how to bait you…he knows how to put you right into that trap and before you know it you’re caught sleeping.
“He’s a master, in my opinion, on the fighting arts and he’s also got a ground game — he’s good everywhere. I’m not sleeping on how great he is. I’m prepared for everything but he is a great fighter.”
“There’s no amount of time that we have that’s going to help us to try and get him to stand up, there’s no way possible. So, I’m not gonna say, ‘Oh yeah, we’re gonna get him ready’… come on…wake up…it ain’t gonna work,” he said.
“We have to fight our strengths, we have to find ways of opening the doors to where his weaknesses are and likewise. This is basically the classic grappler versus striker fight. Keep in mind that they can both grapple and they can both strike, it’s just one is better than the other at (each discipline).
“We’re the better grappler, he’s the better striker, but that doesn’t mean we won’t strike, it just means he’s better. It’s about who plays whose game.”
McGregor (21-3) who has 18 knockout wins in his 21 fights with three losses came via submission and Nurmagomedov still undefeated (26-0) will look for his eleventh straight cage win. ‘The Eagle’ holds some notable victories over the likes of Edson Barboza, Rafael dos Anjos, and Michael Johnson.
That means Mcgregor and Khabib’s camp are equally scared of each other. Well, Khabib’s takedowns and Mcgregor’s standup is what deemed as classic ‘striker vs. grappler.’ Matchup. Don’t forget every fight starts at feet and Mcgregor can hold the slight advantage if he becomes lucky to throw his left hand.