Conor McGregor’s striking coach Owen Roddy has been speaking out about the superstar’s next fight, and it seems that as things stand the fighter that stands out as his most likely opponent is Khabib Nurmagomedov.
“I can’t confirm anything but it would be great,” Roddy told MMANytt. “Conor’s training hard, he’s always training. He’s motivated and he wants to fight, it’s just that he gets a few things sorted out and then he sits down and negotiates a good deal for his next fight. I think it will be another big spectacle like they always are. So I’m excited, just like everybody else.
“I don’t know but I think [Khabib]’s at the forefront. I always say, Conor wants the biggest fights that he can possibly have and I think, at the moment, Khabib seems to be that guy.”
Nurmagomedov won the lightweight title at UFC 223 in April by defeating late replacement Al Iaquinta, just days after McGregor had attacked the fighter bus he was sitting in along with a mob of his associates in a fit of rage, having been angered that the Russian star had attempted to intimidate his teammate Artem Lobov.
That’s all set the stage for a massive showdown between the two leading lights in the lightweight division, and Roddy believes that bodes well for the chances that the fight will come next.
““I’m sure it’s just down to the right negotiations but yeah, I think it is building,” Roddy said. “This kind of started similarly with the Mayweather fight; there was talk, there was a bit of back and forth and a bit of drama and then once the crowd and once the fans get behind it, they ultimately create the fight. It’s brewing up nicely.”
As for how the fight might go if it does get booked, naturally Roddy is confident that McGregor will have the upper-hand, pointing to his takedown defense as being a crucial factor in the match-up.
“The striker’s always at an advantage because you start standing and you start at range. The grappler always has to get around that and find his way into the clinch and it’s very, very difficult to do that without taking a big shot off Conor. It’s just about setting traps and putting his opponent in positions where they’re vulnerable. He’s got phenomenal takedown defense. You’ve seen that in some of his other fights. . . He’s no slouch there so we’re more than prepared to fight anybody.”