In the past months, rumors and speculations continue to swirl that former UFC two-division champion Conor McGregor will return to the Octagon to fight UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov. Though the much-awaited match remains unofficial, “The Eagle” gave numerous hints that “The Notorious” could be his opponent for his first title defense.
Conor McGregor is not expected to engage in a negotiation regarding his UFC return until he settles his criminal case in Brooklyn, but his longtime striking coach, Owen Roddy, has already started making their strategy to destroy Khabib Nurmagomedov. McGregor’s camp is definitely aware of how dangerous a fighter Nurmagomedov is.
The undefeated mixed martial artist has embarrassed multiple seasoned strikers like McGregor. His winning streak should not be only credited to his offense but also with the way he prevents the opponent from connecting critical strikes, especially to his chin. However, Roddy believes all the fighters have their own weaknesses, and they plan to reveal Nurmagomedov’s when his fight with McGregor becomes a reality.
“You just have to see where those openings are and put the shots in,” Roddy said, via MMAjunkie. “So that would be my role. Obviously, we would be bringing in a wrestling coach, and (McGregor head coach) John (Kavanagh) would be working the overall game and jiu-jitsu game. It’s another day at the office. It’s great fun fighting these different opponents that bring different threats. It’s always exciting to try to come up with a game plan to beat them, and that’s what we do. We try stuff. If it works, we keep it. If it doesn’t work, we get rid of it.”
Coach Owen Roddy acknowledged Khabib Nurmagomedov’s incredible striking force, but he thinks the UFC lightweight champion is not on the level of his fighter, Conor McGregor. Roddy went as far as calling “The Notorious” the best striker in MMA history. What Roddy was saying is not pure boast. Nurmagomedov only won eight fights via knockout, while McGregor has 18 knockouts out of 21 victories. Roddy is very confident that McGregor can land a critical strike when he faces Nurmagomedov in the Octagon.
When the fight becomes official, Roddy revealed that he and McGregor’s head coach John Kavanagh are planning to bring in a wrestling coach. McGregor’s camp must be taking precautions if ever Nurmagomedov decides to engage in a ground fight which is one of the weaknesses of “The Notorious.” The superfight between McGregor and Nurmagomedov is expected to happen this year in Las Vegas.