Khabib vs. McGregor: Predictions & Picks From Europe

Monday, October 1, 2018 4:36 PM UTC

Monday, Oct. 1, 2018 4:36 PM UTC

European UFC fans are eagerly anticipating the Khabib vs. McGregor fight and several experts have weighed in with their take on it.

<p>European UFC fans are preparing to stay up until the early hours of Sunday morning to watch <a href="" rel="nofollow">Khabib Nurmagomedov and Conor McGregor</a> lock horns at UFC 229. in Las Vegas. McGregor is a hero across Ireland and the UK, and the upcoming bout is generating a huge buzz among his supporters. They will have to wait until 3 a.m. for the main card to get underway as it is slated for 10 pm ET on Saturday, but many bleary-eyed die-hards are expected to tune in. Khabib is understandably a huge draw in his native Russia, where fans can set an alarm at 5 a.m. and watch the action unfold.</p><p>McGregor is the underdog following a two-year absence from the sport, but he is gaining slightly more action at the European books. <a href=";book=Bet365" rel="nofollow">Bet365</a> and William Hill are offering +130 on him and that is proving popular, but there is also a lot of love for Khabib at -160. He is the champion, unbeaten in his career but he has arguably not yet faced such a dangerous opponent as McGregor.</p><p>Khabib is an expert in grappling and strangling and he will be hell-bent on bringing McGregor down, but if "Notorious" can avoid that fate he has a great chance of success. He may well need to knock Khabib out – something nobody has ever done – but some European tipsters think he has what it takes. Here are some predictions from the other side of the pond:</p><p><strong>Gareth Davies, The Telegraph:</strong> “I am going with McGregor to win by TKO or KO, though the caveat is that he will need to get it done in the first seven or eight minutes of the fight. McGregor has unusual genius and real power in his hands, and can shock anyone with it. But he will need the finish. Khabib is battle-hardened, and if he is not hurt, damaged or broken by the mid-way point of the second round, he will begin to close the gap on Conor, and will start his inexorable grind to victory, finishing McGregor by the end of the third, or during the fourth round. But I am putting my faith in McGregor.”</p><p>[/]{"component": "embedHTML", "code": "&lt;blockquote class=\"twitter-tweet\" data-lang=\"en\"&gt;&lt;p lang=\"en\" dir=\"ltr\"&gt;.&lt;a href=\"\"&gt;@danhardymma&lt;/a&gt; has visualized &lt;a href=\"\"&gt;@teamkhabib&lt;/a&gt; vs. &lt;a href=\"\"&gt;@thenotoriousmma&lt;/a&gt; numerous times. Here's what he sees &lt;a href=\";amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw\"&gt;#UFC229&lt;/a&gt;&lt;a href=\"\"&gt;;/a&gt;&lt;/p&gt;— MMA News (@mmanews_com) &lt;a href=\"\"&gt;September 30, 2018&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/blockquote&gt;\n&lt;script async src=\"\" charset=\"utf-8\"&gt;&lt;/script&gt;\n"}[/]</p><p><strong>Dan Hardy, English former MMA star:</strong> “I think that weathering an early storm is likely for Conor and I think he’s going to have to maybe get out the first round and get back to his feet a couple of times, but I think he will find a place for that left hand in the late second or early third and I think Khabib will walk onto it.”</p><p><strong>Betting Pro: </strong>“Backing McGregor after a very lengthy absence from the Octagon is a very risky proposition, but this is a man who ended Aldo’s decade of featherweight dominance in just 13 seconds, having successfully predicted exactly what would happen, and he then stopped Alvarez to become the first man in UFC history to hold two titles at the same time. He has knocked out just about everyone who has stood in front of him in the Octagon and every fight starts standing, so I am going to back The Notorious to capitalise on Khabib’s sloppy stand-up, knock him out and confirm his spot as the king of the 155lb ranks.”</p><p><strong>UFC champion Tyron Woodley:</strong> “It’s going to be early – if Khabib pressures him in the first round and has success, that’s the fight, if Conor can catch him and slip him then we might see him get the TKO. If I had to flip a coin, I’d probably say Khabib just because I think he will deal with the emotion.”</p><p><strong>TalkSport: </strong>“Woodley may wish to change his predictions after seeing footage of McGregor working on his supposedly ‘weak’ wrestling and honing his Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. Having brought BJJ black belt Ayub Magomadov into his Straight Blast Gym in Ireland, it appears as though the former two-weight world champion thanked him by knocking him out cold with a trademark Celtic Cross.”</p><p><strong>McGregor's coach Owen Roddy:</strong> “I'm expecting a KO. Most definitely. Whether it’s in the first or the second, I don;t know. But, I would predict that he's going to flatten him. I definitely think Conor's going to land quick enough.”</p><p><strong>Khabib’s father:</strong> “Conor is dangerous for eight to nine minutes, no more. After the first clinch, Khabib will take him down.”</p><p><strong>Betfair:</strong> “There's no doubt that the Dubliner McGregor will be as fearless in this bout as he been in every other fight of his eventful career.”</p><p><strong>Artem Lobov, McGregor’s teammate:</strong> “He can easily out-grapple Khabib, and in the wrestling as well. I see Conor stopping him in round one. I just don't see Khabib being able to do anything. Look at some of his other fights he’s been in. The Al Iaquinta fight, when he was connecting, Khabib did not like it at all. He was going back, leaning back, turning away, closing his eyes. So I see all that, I see Conor in training. I see his timing, I know his wrestling, how good his grappling as well. I just don't see it any other way. First round stoppage for Conor McGregor.”</p><p><strong>Fabricio Werdum, former UFC heavyweight champion: </strong>“Khabib will kill Conor McGregor, for sure. I saw Khabib. He trains a lot and he's a very tough guy."</p><p><strong>British former UFC middleweight champion Michael Bisping:</strong> “The thing that concerns me if I’m pro-McGregor is that when I look at his social media and then his coach John Kavanagh, when you look at his social media, and you look at what’s happening in the gym you don’t see a lot of big hardcore wrestlers that they’ve brought in specifically for this training camp. I’m not seeing that. I don’t see a lot of jiu-jitsu experts, I don’t see Dillon Danis in there, I don’t see these Russians that they’ve brought in. Now as I said, they might have brought in some Bulgarians or some Russians, or some American wrestlers but I don’t see it.”</p><p><strong>English UFC star Darren Till:</strong> “I've seen Conor back in the gym. Before I actually predicted that Khabib would edge it in five rounds, but now I’m sort of going towards Conor.”</p>
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