Khabib Nurmagomedov showed on Saturday night why he is undefeated in his professional mixed martial arts career, by shutting down arguably his most dangerous opponent to date in Conor McGregor.
As Nurmagomedov has done with all of his opponents, he managed to nullify the stand up of McGregor and take him down repeatedly, eventually leading to a submission victory in the fourth round. However, the Irishman didn’t look as sharp as in previous fights, which could have been a result of not fighting inside the Octagon for nearly two years or hesitancy due to the threat of Nurmagomedov’s takedowns. Whatever the reason, McGregor, who is normally uncanny in both the laser accuracy of his punches and his ability to deliver them from unexpected angles, didn’t land a single flush shot to his opponent.
McGregor’s head coach, John Kavanagh of Straight Blast Gym, was a guest on Monday's episode of “The Joe Rogan Experience” and commended his fighter’s wrestling defense, but also expressed disappointment about McGregor’s failure to pull the trigger, especially when he was in position to do so.
“I do think Round 3 showed promise,” Kavanagh said. “I would like to have changed things up a little bit. Specifically, a more offensive mindset. I thought defensively we did quite well, but offensively, we weren’t really where we usually are. Right when the fight was over, I was thinking, you know what, I was kinda going into this not to lose, but not to win. [McGregor’s] shots weren’t as crisp as they normally are. He had opportunities to hit him, especially in the third round, and he just ... seemed to be the range... something was off.”