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OPINION: Nurmagomedov will beat McGregor in UFC 229

By Payton Anselme

Khabib Nurmagomedov vs Conor McGregor could arguably be one of the biggest MMA fights in history. Both Nurmagomedov and McGregor are the biggest names in the UFC currently and both boast an elite level of athleticism. While McGregor is one of the most notorious MMA fighters in current time and has many skills of his own, Nurmagomedov will ultimately be the one on top.

Nurmagomedov has never lost a fight, his record being 26-0, and currently is the UFC Lightweight Champion and a two-time Combat Sado World Champion holding a black belt in judo. Judo is a martial art intended to train body and mind involving holds. Nurmagomedov is a pure stamina powerhouse, being well known for getting his opponent on the ground. In this position unlike most fighters, he releases an endless amount of attacks instead of catching his breath from time to time which will be the end of McGregor.

“He doesn’t have conditioning. He doesn’t have wrestling. He doesn’t have grappling. When he’s tired, he doesn’t have the heart. Look what happened in previous fights,” Nurmagomedov said in a Q&A event for UFC Calgary. McGregor, a southpaw, has a well known left hand and a well-known force behind that left hand.  McGregor has won many fights with his signature left punch including many first round KOs, the greatest weapon that he has is the left hook while unorthodox through is unique stance and reach it becomes truly something to fear.

“And when you look at Conor’s skillset in terms of ability to strike, boy that is a very, very interesting fight,” said Joe Rogan, UFC commentator, and podcaster.

But if McGregor can’t connect a hard punch and attempt to take Nurmagomedov in the first round or two, McGregor will be tired. When Nurmagomedov gets him against a wall or takes him down to the ground the fight will be over. Connor will either get too tired or won’t be able to stop Nurmagomedov and his grappling skills.

Even at his peak, McGregor was a fighter who faded sometime in the second round, which is when Nurmagomedov is usually at his strongest,” said Dave Doyle a veteran sports reporter. “You really think Nurmagomedov doesn’t take a rusty McGregor to the ground and maul him?”

Nurmagomedov is not just a grappler. He’s a fighter and a fighter with resilience while McGregor’s punch is well known many other fighters have hard punches just as well Mcgregor’s and Nurmagomedov has beaten them. McGregor’s punch is overrated.

“Do you want to know if he hits hard? Yeah, I mean, he’s not a weak puncher. I’ll say that. People are dying for me to say, ‘Oh he hits hard!’ Oh, his big left hand.’ Listen, if Conor hits you, you’re going to feel it. He’s a grown man. Is it ‘Oh my God power’? No, ‘Oh my God power’ is very rare,” said Paulie Malignaggi, who was an American boxing two-weight world champion who trained McGregor for his fight against Mayweather.

Overall, Nurmagomedov has the advantage in this upcoming fight and will use said advantages to beat McGregor through his use of stamina and grappling. It’s clear that Nurmagomedov will be the one to take home the win. Tune in to the fight on pay per view live on Oct. 6.

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