After months of rumors and speculations, former UFC two-division champion Conor McGregor will finally return to Octagon. “The Notorious” is set to fight reigning UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov at UFC 229 on October 6 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. Now that the fight is official, mixed martial arts fans are making their own predictions on who will win the much-awaited fight between the two strongest lightweight fighters.
According to SB Nation, as of now, Khabib Nurmagomedov, who remains undefeated with an MMA record of 26-0, is a -170 favorite to win the UFC 229 bout. It is not a surprise why most people see Nurmagomedov beating McGregor in their upcoming fight. Aside from his incredible striking force, “The Eagle” is good at the ground fight, which is one of the weaknesses of Conor McGregor. Hearing predictions that McGregor is going to lose is not new to the ears of UFC President Dana White.
In an appearance on UFC Unfiltered podcast, via MMA Nytt, Dana White described Conor McGregor as “one of the most underrated fighters in the UFC.” White reminded McGregor’s doubters what happened when “The Notorious” fought formidable opponents like former UFC featherweight champion Jose Aldo, former UFC lightweight champion Eddie Alvarez, and Chad Mendes.
“Every time Conor McGregor comes out to fight somebody new and it’s a wrestler or it’s whatever, this is the fight that Conor is going to lose. He said that he would knock out Jose Aldo the way he did it, he said he would do it in the first round. A lot of people picked him to lose to Eddie Alvarez because of Eddie Alvarez’s style and wrestling. Look how he looked there. Leading up to the fight when he fought Chad Mendes — Chad Mendes is a wrestler, everybody believed that he would do that. Then after [Conor] won everybody said that Chad Mendes didn’t have enough time to train for it. The list goes on and on.”
With his ability to win in situations where he was supposed to lose, UFC President Dana White said that Conor McGregor shouldn’t be underestimated. Nurmagomedov shouldn’t be overconfident that he can easily beat the former king of the lightweight division if he doesn’t want to suffer the same fate as Jose Aldo, Eddie Alvarez, and Chad Mendes.
So far, Conor McGregor’s camp has already started making preparations for his upcoming UFC 229 fight against Khabib Nurmagomedov. McGregor’s coaches are definitely aware that Nurmagomedov will try to bring the match into a ground fight.
In a previous Inquisitr article, Owen Roddy, Conor’s longtime striking coach, acknowledged Nurmagomedov’s power, but he said that all the fighters have their own weakness. Roddy revealed that they are planning to bring in a wrestling coach. Coach John Kavanagh is also set to work on McGregor’s overall game, including his jiu-jitsu.