The fight that UFC fans have been waiting a year for will finally take place at UFC 229 in October when Khabib Nurmagomedov defends his lightweight championship title against Conor McGregor. Dana White isn’t only trying to sell the fight when he says it could be the biggest clash in the history of the organization.
Khabib is the real deal and those who don’t believe the hype will surely be converted into fans with victory over McGregor. And really, why shouldn’t Khabib win? He’s enjoying the longest undefeated streak in UFC history and faces an opponent who hasn’t competed in an MMA match in two years.
The ice-cold Russian is arguably the fastest-rising star in the company since McGregor himself. Funnily enough, that could be all the motivation that the Irish fighter needs. It’s no secret that McGregor loves the limelight. He would get a lot less of it if he suffered a defeat to Khabib. His most recent fights have already taken the sheen off of his star.
Before the sideshow with Floyd Mayweather and the double fight with Nate Diaz, McGregor had a mythical quality to him. This naturally-gifted scrapper who feared no man and could talk himself into big-money opportunities. That was before the world found out about McGregor’s biggest weakness: His stamina. He frequently gasses out against tougher opponents and spending so long away from the octagon will do nothing to help him develop the ability to go toe to toe with a machine like Khabib Nurmagomedov.
McGregor is a better striker but it’s inevitable that he will be taken to the ground at some point. That is unless he knocks out Khabib before that happens. That seems unlikely, however. We see only one winner.