British boxing star Amir Khan is continuing to talk up the chances of him one day competing in the sport of mixed martial arts, and Conor McGregor is the fighter he’d like to go up against in the Octagon.
Another boxing great, Floyd Mayweather Jr, has already indicated that he’d be willing to compete against McGregor in the boxing ring, but Khan says the difference with him is that he’d actually be willing to fight ‘The Notorious’ Irish star in an MMA fight.
“I’m a little different in that sense, where I would get into a cage and I would fight in MMA rules, so that’s the difference between me and Mayweather,” Khan told flocombat.com. “I would definitely give it a go. It’s something to learn, as well. I’m at that age where I’m still learning, adapting and getting better. So I still have time under me as well. I’m still a young lad and got loads left in me.”
The former WBA and IBF light-welterweight champion and Olympic silver medalist went on to confirm that fighting in the UFC is a realistic possibility for him as he approaches his 30th birthday towards the end of the year.
“I would, definitely [fight in the UFC]. Something like that would be massive. Even if I started to train MMA next year, I’d only be 30 years old. I could stop and train for a full year and become a good MMA fighter. It’s in our blood to fight. I’ve been fighting all my life, so for me, I don’t think it’d be a problem for me to learn and switch over to the sport.”
Khan will be rooting for McGregor when he rematches Nate Diaz in the main event of UFC 202 next month, and if he does ever get the chance to compete against him, the Brit is confident that his superior boxing would help him to emerge victorious.
“I think McGregor has some great boxing skills. A good boxer will always win a MMA fight–I’ve always said that. A good puncher will always win. You saw in the Aldo fight–he took a step back and countered him as he came in. With boxing, it’s all about distance and timing, and that’s something we have on our side more than MMA fighters.”
Khan is actually a stakeholder in Indian MMA promotion Super Fight League, but his view on the sport still seems a little nieve.
While there’s no doubt that he has tremendous striking skills that would outclass McGregor in a boxing match, there’s no way that a year of training would prepare him for the other aspects of MMA that he’d be facing in the UFC’s Octagon.
McGregor’s kicking game in itself would be hard for a boxer to adjust to, but The Irishman’s wrestling, submissions and ground and pound would give Khan fits.
That being said, it would be great to see a highly talented fighter like Khan in the UFC, and it’d be interesting to see how he would develop if he stuck around in the sport for a longer period, so let’s hope that he’s not just all talk and no action here.