Det är ännu oklart om Conor McGregor kommer att bli av med sitt lättviktsbälte i samband med den nyligen annonserade matchen mellan interimmästaren Tony Ferguson och Khabib Nurmagomedov. Oavsett vad UFC väljer att göra så säger McGregors tränare John Kavanagh att irländaren fortfarande kommer vara divisionsmästare, åtminstone i hans ögon.
Tror att Nurmagomedov vinner
Kavanagh luftade sina tankar i en live-intervju på Facebook där han bland annat berättade vem han trodde skulle vinna titelmatchen mellan Ferguson och Nurmagomedov:
“They’re both grapplers for a start,” sade Kavanagh.
“Neither really has high level striking, so it’s going to be a grappling match. I think a lot of it will be played with Khabib on top, and I think he wins a decision. I think it goes the five rounds, I think it’s a decision to Khabib.”
Kavanagh tror inte att Nurmagomedov har vad som krävs för att avsluta Ferguson:
“Let’s assume both get through their training camps, they’re both healthy, it happens and it’s five rounds. I think Tony will have some moments in the first round or two where he gets close with some guillotines or triangles, but I think Khabib powers out of them and wears him down as he does,” he explained.
“I don’t think he really has the stopping power to finish him. His victory over Barboza was very impressive and so one sided, but he didn’t really break him up. His face wasn’t bashed up and rearranged, it was more just the volume of shots and guard passing and so on. I think that would start to wear on Tony and he’d start to steal rounds with takedowns. Yeah, Khabib by unanimous decision.”
Fjärde gången gillt
Matchen mellan Ferguson och Nurmagomedov är fjärde gången som atleterna matchas mot varandra. Kavanagh tror dock att det finns en stor risk att matchen inte blir av.
Anledningen är Nurmagomedovs träningsstil som Kavanagh tror gör honom benägen att skada sig:
“I do think there is a really high risk of it not happening. It’s been scheduled twice and it has not happened twice,” he said.
“It’s very impressive what Khabib can do when he is fighting, just that pace he has and the relentless pressure, but it does require you to train in a certain way that brings on injuries. There is a reason why he is averaging one fight or less over the last couple of years because of multiple surgeries and so on.
“He’s got a lot of miles on the athletic clock. I would almost see as there being a high likelihood of one pulling out before the fight happens.”
Anser att McGregor är den riktiga mästaren
Kavanagh fortsatte med att säga att han fick reda på matchen mellan Ferguson och Nurmagomedov samtidigt som alla andra.
Han vet inte om McGregor kommer att bli av med sin lättviktstitel men i slutändan säger han att det kvittar då alla vem som är den riktiga mästaren:
“I’m hearing this at the same time as everyone else. I see there is a press conference that will happen tomorrow. I think Tony and Khabib, or else just Khabib, is being interviewed about the fight that Dana announced in April, which was news to me as well. Maybe they’re going to say it at that. Is it an interim title fight or is it a belt fight? I don’t know.”
“I think regardless of what way it’s sold, I think it’s still going to be known who the champion is. I know that’s going to upset a lot of people, but there you go, that’s my opinion on it.
“If it happens that those guys fight each other, and if it happens for the belt, they’re both going to think to themselves, ‘I’ve got to beat Conor to be really seen as the champion.”
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