When one would break down the upcoming UFC lightweight title fight between champion Khabib Nurmagomedov and Conor McGregor, the advantage on the feet will be given to “The Notorious.” On the flipside, “The Eagle” automatically gets the edge once they clinch up and go to the ground.
But according to McGregor’s grappling coach and training partner, people might be looking past the Irishman’s grappling skills a little too much. For him, McGregor can actually defeat Khabib in a pure grappling match.
“Conor could beat Khabib in a grappling match,” Danis said Monday on the Ariel Helwani show on ESPN (transcript via MMA Mania). “I think if you put them in a grappling match like ADCC, I think people would be surprised.”
“Conor is a special athlete. The way he moves his body. He has the ability to move in certain ways and make passes and stuff. He’s a really good athlete.”
McGregor encountered some trouble when he faced Chad Mendes at UFC 189, where he was taken down a few times with relative ease. Danis, however, does not think Khabib will be able to do the same.
“Chad Mendes is a better wrestler than Khabib,” Danis said. “What credentials does Khabib have in wrestling? Maybe in sambo. Chad Mendes was second in NCAA.”
As for the stand-up fighting, Danis also pointed out how Michael Johnson was able to tag Khabib a few times during their fight at UFC 205 in November 2016.
“Michael Johnson caught Khabib. Michael Johnson is not at the level that Conor is.”
Khabib and McGregor will headline UFC 229, which takes place on October 6th in Las Vegas.