Khabib Nurmagamedov’s Preparation For His Upcoming Fight Against Conor McGregor Looks Like It’s Focusing On Striking Instead of Grappling…
Perhaps the biggest turning point in Ronda Rousey’s career was when her coach Edvard Tardverdyan insisted that she could stand her ground boxing with the best in the world. Surely, surely, Khabib Nurmagamedov is not going to make the same mistake in his upcoming fight against Conor McGregor.
The pair will finally duke it out on October 6, at UFC 229 in Las Vegas’s T-Mobile Arena. It will be the culmination of a toxic rivalry that reached its pinnacle when McGregor threw a steel dolly through the window of a media bus carrying the Russian fighter.
Now footage has been released of Khabib’s training focus. Take a look at the video and see what you think. It might not quite be what you expect, but here’s a quick spoiler: there’s a lot of punches.
As you can see from the footage above, Khabib focuses a lot on his punching and striking. Obviously, he’s best known for his wrestling capabilities, and where he does focus on that he looks absolutely terrifying. This what people think could be Conor McGregor’s downfall; the relentless pressure that brutalizes the opponent on the ground.
Let’s just hope that he’s not going to go full Ronda Rousey, whose UFC career collapsed after she was infamously dissected by Holly Holm. This fight needs to go to the ground. McGregor has a career’s worth of striking built into his muscle memory. Why fix a style that isn’t broken?
First things first. Khabib Nurmgamedov has an undeniably phenomenal record of 26-0, with 10 of those coming in the UFC. Unbeaten streaks are so difficult to maintain in MMA because there are just so many variables involved in the sport. Everybody is vulnerable at some point and arguably, Khabib has two significant flaws in his fighting style.
The first is this: 6 out of Khabib’s 10 UFC wins have come via decision. We’ve already seen the backlash towards Tyron Woodley for his – let’s be kind – tactical approach in recent fights. This is something he’ll need to improve upon if he wants to enhance his marketing as a champion down the line – assuming he beats McGregor.
Weakness No.2 is his striking. While it has yet to be exposed, because he’s just so good at implementing his own style, Khabib’s stand-up game is not going to win him any prizes. The only time we’ve ever seen him rattled, was when he took one punch from Michael Johnson, who he proceeded to brutalize. Against Al Iaquinta, he looked rigid on the feet. He cannot be like that against McGregor.
Obviously, people are going to read into this too much. It’s highly unlikely that Khabib’s team think that the Eagle will be able to outbox Conor McGregor. Will he melt under pressure like Eddie Alvarez who was unable to take the Notorious down and ended up losing by TKO?
We don’t know yet. That’s what makes this the most interesting and exciting fight of the year so far. We just can’t wait.