Kavanagh: McGregor KOs Khabib in 2 Rounds
The UFC Lightweight Championship situation is kind of a mess. UFC President Dana White recently announced interim champion Tony Ferguson and Khabib Nurmagomedov would fight in the main event of UFC 223 in April to determine the “real champion.” Yet, UFC Lightweight Champion Conor McGregor, who hasn’t made one defense of the title in 14 months, has yet to be officially stripped of the title.
McGregor has not competed in the UFC since winning the lightweight title in November 2016; he pursued, and obtained, a boxing match with Floyd Mayweather in 2017. McGregor has stated his intentions to return to the UFC around August or September, but White has claimed he isn’t willing to wait that long for The Notorious’ return.
Despite all the drama and games, fight fans still crave for a potential showdown between McGregor and Nurmagomedov. And John Kavanagh, McGregor’s coach, says he can see it happening.
“I can’t see it not happening this year,” he said. “And when it does, and all the details are finalized, between the build-up and the press conferences and everything, it’s going to be a typical Conor McGregor fight in that it stops the world. It will be incredible, and I really hope it happens. I’m really looking forward to it.”
Kavanagh feels that it will be a fight of two different styles the day McGregor and Nurmagomedov face off. He adds that while Nurmagomedov has a mastery of sambo, the Russian fighter leaves himself open in close distance, and Kavanagh says McGregor will take advantage of that.
“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. It’s still relying on the ability to walk through the shots and then that pressure starts up against the fence. There are not many people better in the world than him at that, but a fight starts standing and it starts separated.
Long story short, I think within two rounds Conor would knock him out. I think it would be maybe like the Eddie Alvarez fight, and he would stop him in the second.