After an almost two-year hiatus from MMA, former UFC two-division champion Conor McGregor is set to fight again in the Octagon. “The Notorious” will be challenging UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov at UFC 229 on October 6 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada. Since the much-awaited fight was officially announced, “The Eagle” emerged as the heavy favorite to win against McGregor.
The undefeated UFC lightweight champion is good at fighting on the ground, which is one of Conor McGregor’s weaknesses. Also, his incredible defense makes it harder for McGregor to land a critical strike in their upcoming fight. However, according to Kevin Lee, who currently ranks No. 5 in the UFC lightweight division, Nurmagomedov should not be overconfident that he can easily defeat the Irish fighter.
Lee believes McGregor is not the type of fighter that should be underestimated. Unlike the popular prediction for UFC 229, the 25-year-old mixed martial artist said in a recent appearance on MMAjunkie Radio that McGregor is going to beat Nurmagomedov via knockout.
“I think Conor’s probably going to sleep him,” Lee said, as transcribed by Simon Samano of MMAjunkie. “I’m just looking at the matchup and how the styles is, and especially with someone like Khabib. Khabib’s just got the same holes that I’ve been seeing for years and years and years. And I know Conor’s been seeing them, too. So, when you see those holes, and they’re not getting at least a little closed, then he’s going to get slept.”
Though Khabib Nurmagomedov is yet to suffer his first loss in his MMA career, Kevin Lee believes “The Eagle” has his own weaknesses. Per MMAjunkie, the “holes” Lee was pointing out was based on Nurmagomedov’s performance at UFC 223 where he claimed the UFC lightweight title. Nurmagomedov succeeded to beat Al Iaquinta via unanimous decision, but he earned plenty of criticism for his performance inside the Octagon.
UFC commentator Joe Rogan revealed that there is a flaw in Nurmagomedov’s stand-up defense. Rogan and other MMA analysts were wondering why Nurmagomedov failed to knock out a fighter who just served as a short notice replacement. Also, Rogan believes that their UFC 223 match was mostly a stand-up fight because Nurmagomedov was having a hard time taking down Iaquinta.
Kevin Lee has a strong belief that Khabib Nurmagomedov’s weakness will be further exploited when he finally fights Conor McGregor at UFC 229. Even if Nurmagomedov succeeds to control the rhythm of the fight, Lee said that “The Eagle” will be needing to take down McGregor at least five times to defend the UFC lightweight title.