It looks like Bas Rutten is in agreement with the early betting lines for Khabib Nurmagomedov vs. Conor McGregor, but the legendary fighter recently broke down how he thinks the latter could reclaim the UFC’s lightweight crown.
Recently the UFC announced that the stars are going to throw down on October 6th, in the main event of UFC 229 in Las Vegas, Nevada. According to the early betting lines for the highly anticipated contest, Nurmagomedov is the favorite to retain the 155 belt, via odds in -150 to -180 range.
Well, recently Rutten was a guest on Submission Radio, and the former UFC champ and striking guru was asked for his take on Nurmagomedov – McGregor. Here is some of what “El Guapo” had to say (quotes via MMA Weekly):
“I would (favor Khabib) if he doesn’t get hit. To tell you the truth, I’m a huge Conor fan, although I’m a huge Aldo fan. I thought he was gonna have a lot of trouble with Aldo,” Rutten said. “Aldo, man, is an animal; I’ve always said it. I always said he reminds me of Ramon Dekkers. The way he fights, everything is power. No jabs, no nothing. And then to just dismantle him, and saying that before in the interview in the dressing room, ‘Don’t worry, guys, it’s gonna be a short fight. I’m gonna knock him out within 30 seconds, within a minute,’ he said, and then he did it.
“So if he can land a punch and if there’s a lot of pressure on Nurmagomedov. I mean, he cannot lose this fight, everybody’s gonna be on top of him. He’s gonna make a killing in money as well. Everybody wants to fight Conor because of the PPV deal, so that’s a good thing for him as well. I don’t know if it puts pressure on him. I don’t think so. I think these guys from Dagestan, they just go, it’s their job. They either go (into) bookkeeping or they go fight. For them, it’s pretty much the same. So yeah, once it goes to the ground, I see trouble there for Conor. But if he can connect, if there’s a stand up, it’s all about the connection, and if he connects that could be a knockout coming from him.”
This seems to be the consensus in the MMA world, as there’s no doubt McGregor can crack, and we have seen Nurmagomedov take shots as he pressures in search of a takedown. But, that said, no one has really been able to stop counter his wrestling and top game in the Octagon thus far.
It should also be noted, however, that we haven’t seen McGregor fight in the cage since 2016. So, you would think he’s been working heavily on his wrestling and jiu-jitsu. Will his booming left or grappling game be enough to hand Nurmagomedov his first loss? We shall see.