We remain just hours away from what will be, the most watched fight in UFC history. As I said in a previous post, this fight is the worst fight stylistically that either guy could ask for. Conor’s biggest strength is Khabib’s biggest weekness and Khabib’s biggest strength is Conor’s biggest weakness. This fight could legitimately be a dog fight? OR, will it?
Conor’s striking is undeniably the best in the UFC right now, maybe of all time. He’s exploited some of the best featherweight’s of all time, Aldo, Mendes, Holloway, Poirier, then he starched Eddie Alvarez who is genuinely one of the greatest Lightweight’s of all time. The resume for Conor is legitimate but the only argument against him, his grappling. And for whatever reason, this statement has remained despite him actually having some of the best takedown defense in the business. The only guy that has been able to ‘exploit’ his grappling, Chad Mendes. But, people like to forget that Conor had 2 torn knees for that fight, and still stuffed half the takedown’s Chad attempted. His weakness isn’t as big of a weakness as people like to say.
Khabib’s wrestling is undeniably the best in the UFC right now, maybe of all time. Yes, I listed that identically on purpose. BUT, Khabib’s resume isn’t that deep in terms of guys that he’s defeated…. So, how good is this guy actually? The only impressive wins, a sick RDA by decision, Michael Johnson who actually stunned him, and Edson Barboza who he was able to exploit once he closed the distance. The only issue? How does he close the distance against a guy with better movement and who can actually throw punches, and punches that will put you to sleep.
Conor’s stamina remains a question mark. But with a full fight camp at his natural weight class, with no world tour to go with it? His stamina will improve vastly.
As I just mentioned, Conor refused to do a world tour for this fight so that he could focus solely on training. He’s more prepared for this fight than any in his career.
Conor is clearly inside of Khabib’s head, which Conor consistently uses to his advantage in his fights. The talk about his father and manager impacted Khabib mightily. More proof? Conor is so deep in Khabib’s head that Conor showing up late to the last press conference bothered him so much, that Khabib left.
It is easier to train for Khabib than it is to train for Conor. Conor has brought in multiple Deghestani grapplers to help prepare for Khabib. There is no training for Conor’s movement and left hand inside of the cage.
Khabib is notorious for having miserable weight cuts. Even when he makes weight, the cut is deteriorating for him. He’s more suited at 170 because of how big he gets outside of fight camp, but he would face major height and reach disadvantages at 170.
Khabib’s manager has gone on record saying that Khabib wants to beat Conor and ride off into the sunset. That means he’s already half way out the door mentally. This fight reminds me of the Aldo fight. Aldo was the P4P GOAT in a lot of people’s eyes until he met Conor, unbeatable. The build up and talk deteriorated Aldo and he couldn’t handle the moment, Conor took advantage.
The spotlight is something that Khabib has never felt before. The biggest stage he’s been on was against Al Iaquinta?????? Come on now, that’s not even comparable.
After writing this, I really do not see Khabib winning but I could see this being a dog fight if Khabib can get ahold of Conor. If he can close the distance and get Conor on the ground, he’ll win rounds…. but Conor is too high level on the ground to be finished. The fight will come back to the feet again at some point, and the momentum will swing. Overall, I think this comes down to Khabib not being comfortable in the moment and doing what every other has, charging right in because of their hatred for McGregor only to get punched in the face ruining the game plan. The first round will go back and forth, Khabib will land a takedown, Conor gets up near the end of the round and stuns him. Then, comes out firing in the second.
Conor McGregor via 2nd Round KO
And when this happens, I will count my money from Lando……… right in front of him.