Conor Mcgregor turned 30 last month and there was surprisingly little about it from him.
They say that the prime years for most athletes is from the ages of 28 to 32. If this is true Conor Mcgregor has chosen to use 2 of them doing practically nothing in the UFC.
In many ways I think the Mayweather fight changed him. And not just from the point of view of the landslide of Cash that came his way.
In short Mcgregor moved from being a very talented Fighter who is entertaining to an entertainer who happens to fight occasionally.
Of course we are in the lovely period now, 6 weeks out from UFC 229, where the whole event is pregnant with possibilities. Khabib Nurmagemodov and Conor McGregor are sure to explode all previous records in terms of revenue and viewing figures.
However I can’t shake the feeling that this is the beginning of the end for Conor Mcgregor. I just can’t see him beating Khabib.
Now plenty of you will point to that left hand of McGregors. The movement and speed. I take all that on board but I ask you this, has Mcgregor been growing as a mixed martial artist in the last two years?
I think not. He has been growing in plenty of other directions but not in the one arena that brought him world wide superstardom.
I love Eddie Alvarez. Great guy, honest as the day is long inside and outside of the ring. I don’t know how many times he has fought since Mcgregor but its been quite a few.
What we learned in that time is anyone and everyone has been able to hit him, wobble him and put him down.
The sense of wonder and awe we all had on that night in Madison Square garden when McGregor repeatedly buried him in 1.5 rounds is starting to lose it’s sheen.
It’s become evident over the last 2 years that it’s not that difficult to hit Alvarez and hurt him. He has the heart of a lion and never gives up but lets face it – average fighters can wobble him with a good strike.
My fear isn’t that Khabib will beat McGregor. My fear is he will actually destroy him. Conclusively and irreparably.
It is easy to forget that Nurmagomedov has never been beaten. Not in the UFC not outside the UFC. His only Issue is how much the weight cut takes out of him.
Unless he is completely bananas he has been preparing for this fight for at least a couple of months before it was announced. He knew it was coming and it was just a question of whether the UFC would meet McGregor’s pay demands. Obviously an accommodation has been reached.
Khabib has been gunning for this fight for about 3 years. Not for the fame or the fortune but because he believes deeply that Conor is destroyable. Especially with his particular skillset. Let’s face it, if this fight goes to the ground in any shape or form. Conor Mcgregor is fucked.
So in essence Conor McGregor has two rounds to knock Khabib Nurmagedov out. Not been a problem to him in the past but it won’t have gone unnoticed in anyone’s camp, least of all Nurmagomedov’s that there is now a body of damning evidence that McGregor’s cardio takes a very serious nose-dive after about 8 minutes of intense action.
When his cardio drops off, so too, does his knockout power.
If and when this happens, I don’t fancy his chances of staying off the flat his back for the guts of 3 rounds with an opponent like Khabib. He’ll be in his face from minute 1.
The only unknown about this fight is how will Khabib handle the intense media spotlight for the next 6 weeks. It will be unlike anything he has ever seen before. Most whither and die in the intense Mcgregor glare.
The first official press conference is next Thursday, September 20th expect the usual McGregor fireworks. It’ll be fun, entertaining and clickworthy.
I doubt it will bother Khabib Nurmagomedov though.