Former UFC lightweight champion Conor McGregor has been out of action for a total of 19 months and counting. His return date has yet to be determined, as he deals with other issues outside of his fighting career.
But if there is one fight that is currently being lined up for McGregor, it is against 155-pound champion Khabib Nurmagomedov. It is a matchup that UFC president Dana White is on board with, and according to McGregor’s striking coach Owen Roddy, things are actually starting to shape up.
“I’m sure it’s just down to the right negotiations, but yeah, I think it is building,” Roddy told MMANYTT. “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.”
“Once the crowd and the fans get behind it, they ultimately create the fight. It’s brewing up nicely.”
Many see Khabib’s wrestling and grappling proficiency to be a huge headache for the Irishman to deal with. Roddy, however, is assured that McGregor has the right tools to handle it.
“I think for one, the strikers always have an advantage because you start standing and you start at range,” Roddy explained. “The grappler always has to get around that and find his way into the clinch. 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 are vulnerable.”
“He’s got phenomenal take down defence and we’ve seen that in some of his other fights like [against] Eddie Alvarez and Nate Diaz. He’s no slouch there and he’s got a phenomenal wrestling coach in Sergey Pikulskiy as well.”
“We’re more than prepared to fight anybody.”
McGregor last fought at UFC 205 in November 2016, when he became the simultaneous two-division champion by finishing Eddie Alvarez in the second round. Nurmagomedov, on the other hand, last fought at UFC 223 in April, winning the undisputed lightweight title via a unanimous decision verdict over Al Iaquinta.