It would appear UFC superstar Conor McGregor is targeting top lightweight contender Khabib Nurmagomedov for a fight in 2018.
It has been reported that the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) is allegedly planning to strip UFC lightweight champion Conor McGregor of his title, if the fighter fails to return to the octagon early this year.
“Notorious” has not competed under the UFC banner since 2016, when the McGregor earned the lightweight title with a stoppage victory over Eddie Alvarez. If McGregor is stripped of his belt, the UFC is allegedly looking to pin UFC interim lightweight champion Tony Ferguson against tough contender Khabib Nurmagomedov in the coming future.
With that in mind, SBG Ireland head coach John Kavanagh is confindent that McGregor and “The Eagle” will be meeting inside the octagon sometime in 2018, whatever comes to pass with the title.
Speaking on a Q&A through Wimp2Warriors’ Facebook page, Kavanagh explained that he believes a fight against Nurmagomedov is quite likely in the near future for “Notorious.”
“I do think this is the immovable object and the unstoppable force. They’re on a path to meet each other. I’m of course watching everything that he does. In his last fight, I just think when you’re facing somebody with the type of stopping power Conor has in his hands, if you stand very much upright and just kind of walk toward somebody to get a body lock, that’s a risky strategy.
“(Edson) Barboza is a great kicker, but I think trying spinning kicks on somebody who can close the distance quick like Khabib – and has a body-lock heavy grappling game – maybe isn’t the best idea. But for somebody who can make them overextend themselves and has genuine knockout power – and we’ve seen Khabib be wobbled by Michael Johnson, for example.”
“I find it hard to visualize anything else other than Conor knocking him out. We have to be ready because he’s shown he can walk through some shots and there will be those grappling exchanges, so we’ve got to be in incredible shape, in great shape. We’ve got to be ready for his chain wrestling and how he puts his takedowns together. But that’s a matchup as a fan I’d love to see. I think it’s an ultimate striker vs. grappler matchup.
“I think Conor’s striking, with his submission game as well, would cause problems. But long story short, within two rounds I think Conor would knock him out. I think it would be a little bit like the Eddie Alvarez fight, and he was stopped in the second.”
Kavanagh then revealed that he believes the fight will go down sometime in 2018.
“I can’t see it not happening this year. And when it does and all the details are finalized, between the build up and the press conference and everything, it’s going to be an absolutely typical Conor McGregor fight, in that it stops the world. It will be incredible, and I really hope it happens.”