On this day four years ago…
[ORIGINALLY STORY PUBLISHED OCTOBER 3, 2017]
The public’s scouting report for the epic UFC 229 main event featuring Conor McGregor and Khabib Nurmagomedov is that Khabib needs to take the fight to the mat as soon as possible, while McGregor needs to keep the fight standing at all costs.
Even the head coach for Nurmagomedov, Javier Mendez, subscribed to the belief that it is paramount that the champion gets the fight to the mat if he wants to walk out of the T-Mobile Arena still the lightweight champion:
“We have to fight our strengths,” Mendez said. “We have to find ways of opening the doors to where his weaknesses are and likewise. This is basically the classic grappler versus striker fight. Keep in mind that they can both grapple and they can both strike, it’s just one is better than the other at (each discipline).
“We’re the better grappler, he’s the better striker, but that doesn’t mean we won’t strike, it just means he’s better. It’s about who plays whose game.”
As for McGregor, he agrees that his striking advantage is his path to victory, but did not stop at saying he is just prepared for grappling. No, the former champ-champ claims that he wants there to be grappling come Saturday night.
“100% my striking is the answer, but I hope there is grappling exchanges,” McGreror said in an interview with Megan Olivi. “I hope I don’t just go in here and spark this man real quick. I’ve heard many people say I’m just a left-handed fighter, which is very disrespectful to me. There’s many skills in my arsenal. I hope we get a chance to show that, and we can make a fight out of it, and I can showcase some skills that maybe have been forgotten by the mixed martial arts public who saw me compete in the boxing bout last year. Here I am, returned to take back my throne.”
Do you believe Conor McGregor could survive grappling exchanges against Khabib Nurmagomedov at UFC 229?