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On 20 August 2018 at 10:13 AM, Carbomb said:

I've said before I think Felice Herrig is fit, but she's a wanker, and Waterson is as fit, not a wanker, and, more importantly, a better and more entertaining fighter

Waterson is way fitter than Herrig. Not even opinion. That's just a fact. And she's way more likeable. Awful FOX analyst though. 

I'll give Herrig her due though, she's rarely dull to watch bell-to-bell. It's why I'm expecting good things from this fight. They both usually bring it. 

As for Khabib vs Conor, I was done completely writing off Conor a long time ago...unless he was boxing fucking Floyd Mayweather. But logically, I think you almost have to favour Khabib here. Even if you fancy McGregor to whack him, you probably recognise that Khabib has a style that is McGregor kryptonite on paper. 

McGregor's 'punchers chance' will probably only exist in the opening 30 seconds max of each round. And if his cardio is still like it was in the past, that 'punchers chance' is going to decrease with each passing round as his stamina depletes. On top of that, he's been out of the cage nearly two years. And even the Mayweather fight will have been 14 months in the rear view by the time this fight happens. Khabib's the one with all the momentum here, plus that nightmare style. Even an active McGregor from 2015/16 would've likely been given fits by Khabib. A McGregor coming back off a year layoff, clearly with his eye off the game and getting in bother left and right? It's a mammoth task. 

I'd get the logic more for picking McGregor if he had a killer takedown defence like Chuck Liddell in his prime or Cro Cop in his prime or something. But McGregor has never been the best at defensive grappling. All 3 of his MMA losses have seen him submitted, although granted the Diaz loss started with him being rocked on the feet. But the blueprint to beat McGregor has always been more along the grappling route. Even fights he won but had rough spells in, like against Chad Mendes, the rough spells were on the ground. And there isn't a more imposing and suffocating grappler in the division than Khabib.

Conor could nail him. I'm not discounting the possibility. He's got exceptional timing and accuracy with his striking. If anyone is going to catch Khabib on the feet, it's probably Conor. But it's not the most likely outcome. I'm probably 80/20 in favour of Khabib. Seriously. Just think he's all wrong for McGregor and the timing of this fight makes a Conor win even less likely, IMO. But that's the mad thing about this fight. Usually if I'm 80/20 on the result of a fight, I'm probably not that arsed about it. But there's just enough of an x-factor where Conor's concerned to really pull me in.

But yeah, Khabib Smash. Probably stops him around the 3rd, I reckon, on an accumulation of arsekickery. 

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In a way, a Khabib win is probably best for the UFC as well. The last thing we need is McG winning the title back only to bugger off again, or to start looking at a Nate Diaz fight.

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3 hours ago, wandshogun09 said:

Waterson is way fitter than Herrig. Not even opinion. That's just a fact. And she's way more likeable. Awful FOX analyst though. 

I'll give Herrig her due though, she's rarely dull to watch bell-to-bell. It's why I'm expecting good things from this fight. They both usually bring it. 

Sorry, I did actually mean to put "fitter than" for Waterson, as you are absolutely right. At one point I thought she was the prettiest woman in MMA.

Like I say, though, I do also hope she beats Herrig - she's got more going for her as both a fighter and a personality.

 

 

As to writing off McGregor, sure, I understand just as well as anyone on here that you just don't write him off, but by the same token, there is probably no-one as unique as Nurmagomedov in MMA right now. McG's never faced anyone like him; none of Nurmagomedov's opponents have ever faced an opponent like him. And, as you say, he has the worst possible style for McG. He could have spent the past two years working in secret on nothing but his defensive wrestling, and I don't think it would prepare him for Nurm.

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Fuck me, Gray Maynard's still around. He's fighting Nik Lentz on this card now. 

And the Lobov vs Tukhugov fight, which was originally lined up for this show, is now on the Oezdemir vs Smith Fight Night instead. Doesn't really matter but surely it made more sense on this card with the Team McGregor vs Team Khabib thing? 

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It's worth noting that I've read a few top fighters and coaches say Conor lights Khabib up. Duane Ludwig, for example, sees that Khabib is far too slow on his feet and given how sharp McGregor is, Ludwig reckons McGregor batters him. Not that it's a guarantee of anything, but I thought it interesting quite a few with a clue seem to think the opposite of us.

It's hard not to because Khabib is such a smash machine. I'm really interested to see what he does to change up his game a little. As mentioned, Khabib admitted that his current fighting style of relentless forward pressure will more than likely get him in trouble against someone as good as McGregor. If Khabib takes those punches, Nate-style, then pray for Conor.

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I honestly reckon most of the people picking Conor, including the MMA insiders, are doing it so they can say they 'called it' if it happens. Maybe there are one or two who genuinely like his chances but I can't really see why. Khabib is, on paper, the worst style matchup for him in the division. And he's fighting him after a spell of inactivity. And not the good inactivity, the kind of inactivity GSP had in his time away where he got his head straight, rekindled his love for the sport and healed up some of the nagging injuries he'd picked up along the way. McGregor's inactivity was the opposite of that. He went right off the rails and MMA seemed to be the furthest thing from his mind. A spell on the shelf isn't always necessarily a bad thing. But in Conor's case it didn't seem to be productive time out. 

There isn't really a logical reason to fancy Conor to win this. Not saying he can't, but it's not the most likely outcome and when predicting a fight, don't you usually go on what's most likely to happen? Even this 'Khabib is poor/slow on feet' stuff most likely won't be a massive factor because of Khabib's wrestling and Conor's lack of it. I was having this discussion with my brother the other day. He thinks Conor sparks Khabib early because Khabib's "shite on the feet". He said that if people use Conor's lack of wrestling as a reason to pick Khabib then it's the same thing picking Conor because of Khabib's cack standup. But it's not the same. They both have that one area they're great and they're both strong in each others' weaker areas. But the difference is Khabib's grappling dictates where the fight takes place. You can't really make a man stand there and strike with you. You sort of can but you know what I mean. If someone is a better striker than you there are things you can do to get away or limit their threat. But if someone is a way better grappler/wrestler than you, about 9 times out of 10 they'll be able to take you down and choose where the fight takes place. If Khabib feels in danger on the feet he can always clinch up or shoot in. If Conor is put on his back though, it renders his whole game pretty useless. 

I think people picking Conor must be expecting Khabib to stand and trade on the feet, which is mental logic. Khabib has outgrappled much better grapplers than Conor and he's been able to outgrapple strikers not too far off McGregor's level. Whereas McGregor's been submitted by lesser grapplers than Khabib and rocked in the striking, which is his main strength. 

I seem seem overly negative on McGregor but I'm not. They're both great fighters. But that phrase 'styles make fights' was coined for good reason. If Conor catches Khabib he can put him away, absolutely. But that's going to require either a) Khabib deciding to abandon what got him this far and standing with him. Or b) McGregor landing the perfect kill shot in the tiny windows of opportunity between Khabib's takedown attempts. Neither of these scenarios make a McGregor win likely. 

I think someone like Duane Ludwig for example, is understandably always going to be a bit biased towards strikers. As a striker and striking coach himself, he'll see openings Khabib leaves on the feet that none of us pick up on. So I don't doubt he sees chinks in the armour that really do exist. But it's going to be a lot easier said than done when Khabib's bear grappling is thrown into the mix. 

Edited by wandshogun09

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Maybe there are "we called it" types about, but there can also be legitimate holes top top coaches see that a fighter like McGregor can exploit.

A good example of this is AKA realising that Stipe always leaves openings for a counter whenever he comes out of a clinch. No one seemed to notice that, or had the ability to execute it prior to DC knocking out the greatest UFC HW ever. A result many didn't fancy at the time.

Same with TJ v Cody. Ludwig has said since that he's noticed several terrible habits Cody has that he drilled to exploit, and now TJ has battered him twice.

I do agree that it's always easier said than done - that Mike Tyson quote etc. You need the plan, the ability and, of course, a bit of luck.

Edited by ColinBollocks

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Not sure what these experts are basing their opinions on mind you, the fella hasn't stepped into a cage in two years. That's a long layoff in anyone's book.

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The way Khabib mauled Barboza makes me side with him for this one, but Conor's TD defence has definitely improved since Mendes. Alvarez couldn't get near him after taking those early shots.

I'm assuming the betting pattern will side heavily with Conor until he comes in to maybe 2.20 from 2.50. Then I'm lumping on Khabib it pains me to say! 

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Alvarez isn't anywhere near the takedown artist Khabib is though, and has more of a tendency to engage in the striking. 

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Indeed. There is really no one to compare Khabib to in the UFC. Rogan likes to whip out the old "everyone is shocked when he touches you" line when comparing Khabib's strength v pretty much everyone else. He's a bit like the wrestling version of GGG, in that he's got some freak strength/power that belongs to a much larger man. Couple that with years of AKA wrestling with DC and the like.

Alvarez admitted after the fight his whole game plan was to "wrestle more", but Conor just kept punching him in the face. Khabib claims he's not into that silly striking business v Conor, but we'll see how quickly he can get a TK.

Edited by ColinBollocks

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Khabib's willingness and id say stubborness to eat shots to get a takedown is what leads me to think that Conor could catch him early. A wrestling based gameplan like GSP's is all focussed on using wrestling to counter striking and take no damage. Khabib's takedowns come through not giving a fuck what you throw at him because he plans on walking through it. He may switch that up against Conor but i dont think he will.

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