Conor McGregor Has Been Derided for His Ground Game… However, His Most Recent Opponent and Conqueror, Khabib Nurmagamedov, Explains That The Notorious Had No Choice And Did The Right Thing…
Despite holding a brown belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, Conor McGregor’s ground game has been consistently identified as a weakness throughout his career. This is a little harsh, considering he dominated Max Holloway on the ground and has only been submitted twice in his UFC career.
Nate Diaz submitted him after a weary McGregor was tagged heavily and panicked, taking the fight to the ground, where he was quickly choked out. Meanwhile, Nurmagamedov just beat him with a neck crank at UFC 229. Let’s not forget though that Khabib’s ground game is as elite as elite can be. McGregor’s takedown defence was actually pretty good throughout the fight.
When you’re down though, it’s difficult to get back up. Khabib has explained why McGregor had no choice but to tap out. The keyboard warriors slated ‘The Notorious’ for giving up, but it turns out he could have been in a lot more pain than you might think.
There’s something quintessentially primal about submitting another human being. Anybody can get caught with a punch, but to outwrestle and outgrapple another person, you are demonstrating your physical superiority. In a translated version of an interview on Russian TV, Khabib said:
“I was offended that all the hype leading up to this fight focused on the idea that he attacked and I didn’t get off the bus. It was a shame and I asked the Almighty for the fight to happen and the cage door to close with us in it so everyone could find out who is who. Who actually sits on the bus and who doesn’t. Conor actually defended well against the choke, he tucked his chin down, but he had no other choice.”
The thing is, Khabib is just a beast. Some people have called him one-dimensional and boring. To the casual fan, maybe it is, but the fact remains that he’s one of the most brutally effective fighters to have ever fought in the UFC. He’s successfully defended and validated his title by beating the former champion, McGregor. He continued:
“You know, not everyone will understand, it was jaw fracturing, [the] jaw was pressured. You can black out by choke, but if your jaw is under pressure, if your spirit is not broken, then your bones will be. So he didn’t have any options.”
Khabib’s words correspond with what Joe Rogan’s opinion on this matter. The popular podcast host, comedian and UFC commentator was infuriated with fans who were saying McGregor just gave up. He said:
“There are a lot of people who don’t train who think that that was something that you shouldn’t tap to. They are out of their f**king minds. That is what is called ‘a fulcrum choke’. It’s not necessarily a choke but it really feels like your head is going to pop off. If you look at what Conor did, he just waited until he couldn’t take it anymore more and tapped.”
While there definitely might be flaws in McGregor’s ground-game – and he definitely needs better wrestling training partners – it’s just wrong to suggest he just quit.