Former UFC bantamweight champion Cody Garbrandt believes Nurmagomedov’s relentless pressure will stifle Barboza come Saturday night at UFC 219
The bout is a purist’s dream. The outstanding grappling skills of Nurmagomedov will clash with Barboza’s elite striking, which promises to make sparks fly in the UFC’s final card of the year (transcription via MMAWeekly):
“I honestly think that Khabib will win that (fight). I think he’s just too dominant of a grappler,” Garbrandt said during an appearance on the Real Quick with Mike Swick Podcast.
Garbrandt believes that Barboza can finish the fight at any time but argues that Nurmagodemov’s strengths will ultimately trump that of his opponent:
“I think that if he lets Barboza start getting away in the beginning, start out-striking him, and getting comfortable on his feet, then Barboza can catch you. He has nasty kicks. He’s fast, knees,” he said.
“I think Khabib, if he stays in the pocket, crowds him, dirty boxing almost and get him in the clinch and take him down. If you let Barboza stay long and use his jab and get his kicks going, it could be a long night for him. But I think Khabib is definitely just going to be able to take him down and control him on the ground,” said Garbrandt.