After Conor McGregor captured the UFC lightweight championship at UFC 205 by defeating Eddie Alvarez in a brilliant performance that resulted in a 2nd round TKO loss for Alvarez, all signs pointed to Khabib Nurmagomedov receiving the next lightweight title shot after his dominant 3rd round submission win over Michael Johnson.
Following the event, McGregor announced that he would need to take several months off from fighting due to the upcoming birth of his firstborn child in May. In the meantime, the UFC has officially announced that lightweight #1 contender Khabib Nurmagomedov would be fighting Tony Ferguson for the interim lightweight championship at UFC 209 on March 4th.
Ahead of that fight, Conor McGregor’s training partner, Dillon Danis, weighed-in on a potential McGregor Nurmagomedov scrap. He spoke to Submission Radio:
“HE’S [KHABIB] TOO EASILY HIT,” DANIS SAID ABOUT NURMAGOMEDOV. “IF YOU SAW IN THE MICHAEL JOHNSON FIGHT, HE WAS GETTING LIKE WOBBLED AND ROCKED EVERY TIME THEY WERE ON THE FEET. SO CONOR IS GOING TO PICK HIM APART LIKE HE DOES ALL THE WRESTLERS.”
“HE [CONOR] HITS YOU FROM EVERYWHERE AND HE KICKS YOU IN THE STOMACH,” DANIS CONTINUED. “AND PEOPLE DON’T SEE THOSE SHOTS ON TV, LIKE SOME OF THOSE TEEP KICKS AND SOME OF THE KICKS TO THE STOMACH, BUT THOSE TAKE THE WIND OUT OF YOU. AND WHEN YOU BASICALLY HAVE TO TAKE SOMEONE DOWN, IT PUTS A DIFFERENT KIND OF FEELING IN YOUR STOMACH AD IN YOUR GUT WHEN YOU HAVE TO TAKE THE GUY DOWN. THE GUY’S BEATING YOU UP ON THE FEET, AND WHEN YOU GO TO THE GROUND HE’S ELBOWING YOU. SO I THINK CONOR PUTS HIM AWAY IN PROBABLY ONE OR TWO ROUNDS WITH STRIKES.”
With that being said, Nurmagomedov’s grappling is unparalleled, and many believe it will be the X-Factor in a potential fight. Dannis disagrees:
“WHAT HAPPENED TO EDDIE DOING THAT THOUGH? THAT’S WHAT PEOPLE SAID THAT EDDIE WAS GONNA DO THAT AND THEN HE COULDN’T EVEN COME CLOSE TO TAKING CONOR DOWN. NATE COULDN’T COME CLOSE TO TAKING CONOR DOWN. THEY ALL THINK THEY’RE GOING TO DO SOMETHING UNTIL THEY GET IN THERE. I TRAIN WITH THE GUY EVERY DAY WHEN I’M OUT THERE IN IRELAND, SO I KNOW WHAT HE’S CAPABLE OF, AND THAT’S DEFINITELY NOT GOING TO HAPPEN.”