By Mark Elezaj
This can be and has already been labeled one of the biggest Mixed Martial Art fights that could have been made. We are a little over a week away and not only the UFC fans, but fight fans in general are ecstatic. The two biggest names in the UFC, Khabib “The Eagle” Nurmagomedov and “The Notorious” Conor McGregor, are about to face off and you can see that neither man has any love loss for his opponent.
Let’s back track a little bit..
Nurmagomedov (26-0) is regarded by many as the most dominant fighter in the UFC. He has defeated every opponent who has stepped inside the cage to face him with his amazing wrestling ability. His style, lets just call it a come forward and smother you until you fall, is fun to watch. Once he takes his opponent to the ground, he’s basically unbeatable. His ground and pound, wrestling and fighting technique are almost flawless.
His last fight however, showed that the man is not “a fighting God” as some would call him, although he was still a force to be reckoned with. He fought Alexander Jay Iaquinta, a fill in at the UFC 223 PPV, and went the distance winning a unanimous decision. Yes Khabib did win the fight but after watching it as it happened, you saw what a strong, game fighter willing to give his all, is capable of against him.
“The Notorious” Conor McGregor (21-3). He’s flamboyant, entertaining and one hell of a fighter. He “puts asses in the seats” and you know you’re in for a show when he’s center stage. McGregor will be fighting in the UFC for the first time in 23 months. He last captured the lightweight title via a win over Eddie Alvarez at UFC 205 in November 2016 becoming the first fighter in UFC history to hold two belts. He’s a striker, plain and simple. He has power in both hands and wants to trade with you. He can care less who you are or what you bring to the table. His ground game is not as strong as Khabibs but he can fight off his back if he had too.
Both Nurmagomedov and McGregor had always been respectful to one other. Everything changed the week leading up to the UFC 223 PPV. Nurmagomedov and his team surrounded McGregor’s good friend and teammate, Artem Lobov, The incident resulted in the Khabib smacking Lobov in the back of the head. McGregor and his team hopped onto a plane from Dublin, and headed to Brooklyn, to confront Khabib. Things went horribly wrong and not the way McGregor wanted them to. He stormed into the loading dock of the Barclays Center looking for Khabib. Conor ended up throwing a dolly through a bus window, intending to hit Nurmagomedov, but hurting Michael Chiesa and Ray Borg, instead. Conor was arrested and released later that day but the incident impacted the UFC 223 PPV.
Not only is this fight beyond personal, it is also for the 155-pound title. Who wins? Who will be the stronger force in that cage?? This is a tricky one to call. If Conor can keep the fight up and avoid being taken down to the canvas at all costs, I feel he wins the fight by a split decision. But!!!!! If Khabib can tire Conor out (he’s been known to wear down before the end of his fights) and wrestle him to the ground, it will be just another day at the office for Nurmagomedov. I don’t know how this will end but what I will say is DO NOT EXPECT A DRAW because both fighters are looking to “kill” each other.
UFC 229 takes place on Saturday, Oct. 6. Pay-per-view coverage begins at 10 p.m. ET. The fight card is stacked with matches that will be a great “appetizer” before the “main course”.
•Khabib Nurmagomedov (c) vs. Conor McGregor
•Tony Ferguson vs. Anthony Pettis
•Ovince Saint Preux vs. Dominick Reyes
•Derrick Lewis vs. Alexander Volkov
•Michelle Waterson vs. Felice Herrig
What are your thoughts? Who wins!?
Let’s talk about it!
~The Fighting Voice~