McGregor vs Khabib: Conor explains why he DOESN’T want early knockout | UFC | Sport


McGregor is headlining the UFC 229 card in Las Vegas on Saturday night against the Russian.

Nurmagomedov currently holds the UFC lightweight belt; the strap which McGregor had to relinquish due to inactivity.

The Irishman’s last UFC fight was in November 2016 when he knocked out Eddie Alvarez to claim the lightweight title.

One year prior, ‘The Notorious’ defeated adversary Jose Aldo with a fierce left hand which left the Brazilian unconscious inside 13 seconds.

McGregor secured the featherweight belt in doing so – his first in the UFC.

It was that win which truly propelled the mixed martial arts phenomenon into the mainstream, but McGregor has revealed he hopes the Nurmagomedov fight on Saturday will not be as easy.

“I hope there is a grappling exchange. I hope I don’t just go in and spark this man out real quick,” the 30-year-old told Megan Olivi on The Exchange.

“I’ve heard many people say I’m just a left-handed fighter, which is very disrespectful to me.

“There’s many skills in my arsenal and I hope I get a chance to show that and make a fight out of it.

“Maybe I can showcase some skills that have been forgotten by the mixed martial arts public, who saw me compete in the boxing bout last year.”

McGregor’s two-year hiatus from the octagon was chiefly down to his extraordinary boxing match with Floyd Mayweather Jr in August 2017, which he lost via TKO in the 10th round.

The two-weight champion explained how he has returned “to take back my throne”, however, and that Saturday’s bout presents a particular edge.

“There’s a little bit more fuel in my engine, in my tank, for this one,” he explained.

“There’s a bit more fire to work with and inflict harm on this man.

“But in there I will be calm, I will be composed and I will be ruthless; the same as I am with anyone.

“But that’s the way I have to be because it’s either me or him. And if that’s the case then it’s always going to be him.”


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