clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Morning Report: Khabib Nurmagomedov’s father says ‘no one’ can help Conor McGregor improve his wrestling in time for UFC 229

If you buy something from an SB Nation link, Vox Media may earn a commission. See our ethics statement.

Khabib Nurmagomedov
Khabib Nurmagomedov

In eight weeks, at UFC 229 in Las Vegas, Nev., undefeated lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov will defend his title against former two-division world champion Conor McGregor. It’s a fight that has been building for almost two years and looks to be the biggest fight in UFC history. It’s also, according to Nurmagomedov’s father and coach, Abdulmanap Nurmagomedov, an aggressive mismatch against an undeserving challenger.

Speaking with Alexander Lyutikov recently, Nurmagomedov’s father said that McGregor was ever the rightful champion at lightweight and that Dustin Poirier is more deserving of a title shot.

“I think Conor understands that he wasn’t the real champion at 155 [pounds],” Abdulmanap said. “He only fought against two lightweights and one of them choked him out. When he took the belt, there were about six lightweights who were stronger than him.

“There are a lot of fighters who deserve a title shot more than Conor. For example, Poirier. He can keep a high pace, he tries to finish opponents. Poirier is the real contender.”

Poirier has been on a remarkable run - stopping three former champions in his last three fights - but McGregor is by far the more marketable commodity. Though he has been away from the cage for almost two years, “Notorious” was last seen as the B-side in one of the most lucrative fights in pay-per-view history when he took on another undefeated fighter in Floyd Mayweather Jr. Like with the Mayweather boxing match, Abdulmanap believes that McGregor’s knows he stands very little chance to win but is willing to do it because it’s the most lucrative option available to him.

“[Conor] will not earn the same money in any other fight,” Abdulmanap said. “Of course he understands that the five-round fight against Khabib will be a nightmare for him. He just has the puncher’s chance, but Khabib has never been knocked down. He’s never even been wobbled. I think Khabib’s chin is strong enough for the lightweight and welterweight divisions.

“Physically and tactically, Khabib is stronger than Conor. Khabib has better cardio than Conor and 100 percent Khabib has better wrestling and grappling. we will choke him out when we decide to do it. Of course, Conor’s left hand is very dangerous and he can throw the right uppercut. That’s all. Nothing else.”

Of course, that stylistic divergence is one of the facets that makes this fight so compelling. McGregor is arguably the best striker in the division and Nurmagomedov the best grappler. All fights begin on the feet and McGregor will be working hard to prepare his takedown defense for the fight with Khabib but the question that will be answered in the cage is who can impose their will on the other. For Abdulmanap, the answer is easy: there is no wrestling coach in the world who can prepare Conor McGregor for the grappling of his son in just a few months.

“Let’s put together the best wrestling coaches from Dagestan, Japan, USA, Turkey . . . even they will not be able to prepare McGregor for this fight in three months,” Abdulmanap said. “No one can help him. You can’t do that in such a short time. He needs to start studying it from the beginning. To improve his wrestling in several months, it’s impossible.

“[Conor is dangerous] for 8 to 9 minutes, no more. After the first clinch, Khabib will take him down. We will finish this fight when we want. We respect our fans. If they want to watch all five rounds, we will fight all five rounds. But after two rounds, he has nothing to do on his feet. After two rounds, he will not be able to do anything. We don’t want to lose even one round. Khabib has never lost a single round.

“Only a referee can protect Conor, that’s why he will be in the cage.”

Khabib Nurmagomedov will face Conor McGregor in the main event of UFC 229 on Oct. 6 in Las Vegas, Nev.


Results. Invicta matchmaker Kaitlin Young outclasses King Reina at Rizin 12.

Retirement. Mauricio Rua won’t retire but sets possible deadline for career end.

Pick. Dustin Poirier gives prediction for Khabib Nurmagomedov vs. Conor McGregor.

Fight. Curtis Blaydes to Stipe Miocic: ‘Neither one of us is going to get that title shot this year.’

Champ. Rose Namajunas discusses time off from UFC, Joanna Jedrzejczyk’s recent comments.


Minotauro Steak looks delicious.

Darren Till says he’s gonna beat the best Tyron.

TMZ MMA roundup.

The Till-Perry story in cartoon form.


Severe MMA. UFC Lincoln and Bellator 204 discussion.

Slip ‘n Dip. Interviews with Brad Katona and Alex Perez.


Apropos of the lead.

He’s back.

This kept on over the weekend because MMA is a carnival sideshow.

Oh, and Conor still throwing shade at Paulie.


Sugar Show is coming.


In case you didn’t know, Shevchenko is also an excellent shooter.

Everyone is DC. Everyone is.

Rizin buzzer beater.

Super slick.


Rgoer Huerta (24-10-1, 1 NC) vs. Patricky Freire (19-8); Bellator 205, Sep. 21.

Adam Piccolotti (10-2) vs. James Terry (20-9); Bellator 206, Sep. 29.

Gaston Bolanos (3-1) vs. Ysidro Gutierrez (4-2); Bellator 206, Sep. 29.

Justin Smitley (10-7-1) vs. Jeremiah Labiano (11-6); Bellator 206, Sep. 29.

Nordine Taleb (14-5) vs. Sean Strickland (19-3); UFC Moncton, Oct. 27.


Another light week. Don’t worry, major fights will be back soon enough. In the meantime, enjoy the quiet, thanks for reading, and see y’all tomorrow.



Who wins?

This poll is closed

  • 55%
    (1761 votes)
  • 26%
    (844 votes)
  • 17%
    LOL. This is MMA. That fight won’t end up happening.
    (563 votes)
3168 votes total Vote Now

If you find something you’d like to see in the Morning Report, hit up @JedKMeshew on Twitter and let him know about it. Also follow MMAFighting on Instagram, and like us on Facebook.

Sign up for the newsletter Sign up for the MMA Fighting Daily Roundup newsletter!

A daily roundup of all your fighting news from MMA Fighting