Is McGregor vs Khabib a classic Striker vs. Grappler match up? Not according to Conor’s teammate Artem Lobov.
Is the UFC 229 main event between Khabib Nurmagomedov and Conor McGregor the 2018 version of your traditional striker vs grappler match up? If you ask the Irishman’s teammate Artem Lobov, that’s not the case at all.
Not only did Artem say McGregor is more well rounded than what people think, he also claims that the former two-division champion can “easily” win the grappling exchanges on this contest.
“When you say it like that, it’s as if Conor doesn’t have wrestling and grappling, and Khabib doesn’t have any striking,” Lobov told The Mac Life. “It is true that Khabib doesn’t really have any striking, but it’s certainly not true that Conor’s grappling or wrestling is not on that level.
“He can easily out-grapple Khabib, and in the wrestling as well. Of course this is Khabib’s game, so we’re not stupid. We’re not gonna fall into his hands right away, but make no mistake about it, we’re gonna be ready everywhere.”
As for his prediction, Lobov thinks that his long term sparring partner will end the contest quickly and regain his lightweight title.
“I see Conor stopping him in Round 1. I just don’t see Khabib being able to do anything,” he said. “Look at some of his other fights he’s been in. The Iaquinta fight, when he was connecting, Khabib did not like it at all. He was going back, leaning back, turning away, closing his eyes.
“The same against Michael Johnson. When Michael Johnson connected, Khabib couldn’t take him down anymore. The only reason they ended up on the floor was because Michael Johnson decided to wrap up the guillotine and bring him down himself — which was the biggest mistake of his life. I’m sure he still regrets that. Either than that, he had stuffed Khabib’s takedowns already,” he continued.
“So I see all that, I see Conor in training. I see his timing, I know his wrestling, how good his grappling as well. I just don’t see it any other way. First round stoppage for Conor McGregor.”