Here's why John Kavanagh is so confident Conor McGregor can do what nobody's ever done to Khabib Nurmagomedov
Conor McGregor is the man to stop Khabib Nurmagomedov, according to John Kavanagh.
There's never been a lightweight force as dominant as Khabib Nurmagomedov. 25 men have stepped inside the cage to fight to face him and every single time, the 'Eagle's hand has been raised.
His stand-up is often criticised, but he always manages to get the fight to the ground. Once he's on top of you, the result has historically always been an inevitability. Nurmagomedov's going to win, and his adversary's getting smashed in the process.
If the undefeated Dagestani manages to beat Tony Ferguson at UFC 223, John Kavanagh believes his unbeaten run would end against Conor McGregor.
You can see the spirit drain from their faces https://t.co/VIJxOzFYXT
— SportsJOE (@SportsJOEdotie) January 11, 2018
Kavanaghsees holes in Nurmagomedov's stand-up. As he explained during a Facebook live interview to promote Wimp 2 Warrior, he thinks McGregor can take full advantage of these weaknesses.
"I do think the immovable object and the unstoppable force are on a path to meet each other. I just think that when you're facing somebody with the type of stopping power that Conor has in his hands, if you stand very much upright and just walk towards somebody to get a body lock, that's a risky strategy."
While he gave Nurmagomedov kudos for his annihilation of Edson Barboza, Kavanagh feels that McGregor offers something that the Brazilian sharpshooter doesn't - one-punch knockout power. If Khabib walks towards that patented Celtic Cross, he expects the lights to go out pretty swiftly.
"I think Barboza's a great kicker, but trying spinning kicks on somebody who closes the distance quickly like Khabib who has a body lock-heavy grappling game is maybe not the best idea but, for somebody who can make people overextend themselves and who has genuine one-punch knockout power - and we've seen Khabib be wobbled by Michael Johnson, for example, I find it hard to visualise anything else other than Conor knocking him out."
That being said, Kavanagh isn't taking this challenge lightly. He knows Nurmagomedov will do everything in his power to grapple and they have to be prepared for that.
"Now, we have to be ready, because he has shown he can walk through those shots and there will be those grappling exchanges. So we've got to be 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 but, of course, they're well-rounded in all areas."
"But I think Conor's striking and his submission game as well would cause problems. Long story short, I would think within two rounds Conor would knock him out. I think it would maybe be like the Eddie Alvarez fight and he'd stop him in the second."
If McGregor could completely dismantle Nurmagomedov like he did Alvarez, his legacy as one of the greatest fighters ever would surely be cemented. He'll be hoping that prediction he made all those moons ago won't come back to bit him in the ass.