Tomorrow nights the night UFC fans have been waiting for. Conor McGregor vs Khabib Nurmagomedov for the UFC lightweight title. There seems like there’s some serious bad blood between these two, and it’s not hard to see why. From the bus incident to all the trash talk, I can almost guarantee there will be no handshake after this one ends. It’s now time for my prediction for Khabib vs McGregor.
(Video of the final face off, video courtesy of UFC)
It’s very rare to see someone who is 26-0 in MMA, that’s what makes Khabib so special. He’s never been knocked down, has never been in serious trouble inside the octagon, and he’s never even lost a round. His grappling is easily the best in MMA today. When Khabib is on top of you throwing punches your best hope is to conserve enough energy for the next round cause in all likelihood you’re not getting up. Conor McGregor is easily one of the biggest stars in sports today. It might be rare to be 26-0, but to see an athlete like Conor McGregor is equally as rare. He will go down in history as one of the most polarizing people in all of combat sports.
This fight is one of the most highly anticipated fights in UFC history. It can go either way. I don’t see this fight being a close fight at all. I feel like the first round is going to be the story of the entire fight. What I mean by that is who ever implements their style successfully first will win. If Khabib decides to stand with McGregor he’s going to get knocked out. If McGregor makes one little mistake and Khabib takes him down it’s going to be a long night for Mcgregor. The way I see Khabib winning this fight is the same way he wins all his fights by brutal ground and pound. Khabib puts so much pressure on his opponents that they’re forced to back up against the cage. That’s when Khabib takes you down and mauls you. The problem is though Khabib has never fought a fighter like McGregor. He’s never fought someone who’s movement is so tricky to read. McGregor’s left cross is one of the most brutal punches in the lightweight division. It doesn’t matter how tough you are Mcgregor’s punches are so quick and so accurate, once he touches your chin your nights pretty much over. We’ve seen how well McGregor handles high profile fights, its impressive how confident and relaxed he looks. This is the first high profile fight we’ve seen Khabib in. When the moment comes and it’s time for these two to fight it will be interesting to see if Khabib tires out because of an adrenaline dump. He’s seemed pretty calm throughout fight week so I don’t think the crowd and magnitude of the moment will play a big factor. The biggest factor in this fight for me is can Khabib pressure Conor enough to push him back against the cage? If Khabib can’t pressure McGregor well enough he’s going to have trouble taking Mcgregor down in open space. I think Khabib’s going to have trouble pushing McGregor back and eventually try to take him down in open space. That’s when I think Conor’s going to catch Khabib with an uppercut coming in and win via knockout. My official prediction for this one is McGregor winning via round 1 KO.
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Stephen Caloggero (@steveo_calo)