John Kavanagh recently said that he would almost bet anything that a bout with Khabib Nurmagomedov happens in 2018. Conor McGregor’s striking coach Owen Roddy believes the return happens soon as well.
While he says Khabib is the most likely option, the talk about Georges St-Pierre possibly dropping down to lightweight also intrigues him. Mostly, it seems like Roddy would enjoy the challenge of coming up with a game plan to stop these two top notch wrestlers.
“We’ll find the threats and look at how to nullify them. Then we look at the flaws and see how we capitalize on them,” Roddy said during the opening of their new SBG gym in Ireland. “It’s not just me, it’s a team effort: it’s John [Kavanagh], it’s Conor — Conor has a huge input on what shots he uses. He’s such a smart fighter. People think he just goes in and lands the left hand, but it’s everything before — he’s leading people into that position and he’s very good at doing that.
“[GSP] is one of the best to ever do it. He has a tricky code to crack, most definitely. Same with Khabib. That style is [tricky], but you can come up with plans to beat them. Nobody is perfect. There are flaws in everyone’s game — there are flaws in Khabib’s game and there are flaws in GSP’s game.”
Roddy says McGregor also has that x-factor, and what Firas Zahabi calls the touch of death.
“(Khabib and GSP) both do what they do really well, but at the end of the day, for me, what Conor has over all of them is he’s so good at landing shots,” he explained. “He lands a shot within the first minute, and 99 percent of people can’t take it. In those small gloves, he is going to catch you, he’s going to catch you on the chin or on the temple and there are very few people who can deal with that.
“Once that happens, it doesn’t matter how good you are anywhere. Once you’re rocked everything goes out the window and you’re on autopilot. You don’t want to be fighting him on autopilot because he just sets traps and he puts people away.”