Khabib Nurmagomedov’s father and coach, Abdulmanap, believes Conor McGregor’s inability to wrestle will be his downfall at UFC 229.
McGregor makes his highly-anticipated return to the octagon in arguably the biggest match-up in the history of the UFC later this year.
The Irishman will line up against Nurmagomedov at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas for a shot at the lightweight title.
Nurmagomedov has established himself as the kingpin of the company during McGregor’s absence, having won the lightweight strap against Al Iaquinta at UFC 223.
The Dagestan native has won all 10 of his fights since making his UFC debut against Kamal Shalorus in January 2012.
Sitting at number eight in the UFC pound-for-pound rankings many believe he has the ability to rise to the top over the next few years, and victory over McGregor would further strengthen his credentials.
His father and coach, Abdulmanap, believes McGregor hasn’t done enough to even earn a title shot after two years of inactivity.
Abdulmanap said: “There are a lot of fighters who deserve a title shot more than Conor. For example, Poirier. He can keep a high pace, he tries to finish opponents. Poirier is the real contender.”
McGregor, who much prefers to fight standing up, has been working hard on his wrestling skills in recent times, but Abdulmanap feels he won’t be able to reach the standard required in time.
He added: “Let’s put together the best wrestling coaches from Dagestan, Japan, USA, Turkey . . . even they will not be able to prepare McGregor for this fight in three months.”
“No one can help him. You can’t do that in such a short time. He needs to start studying it from the beginning. To improve his wrestling in several months, it’s impossible.”
“[Conor is dangerous] for 8 to 9 minutes, no more. After the first clinch, Khabib will take him down. We will finish this fight when we want. We respect our fans. If they want to watch all five rounds, we will fight all five rounds. But after two rounds, he has nothing to do on his feet. After two rounds, he will not be able to do anything.”