Ever since the build up to Conor McGregor’s rematch with Nate Diaz at UFC 202, Brazilian jiu-jitsu (BJJ) black belt and McGregor coach, Dillon Danis, has been a very vocal piece to “The Notorious” team.
Continuing with that trend, the uber confident grappler had a chance to speak about the potential matchup between his training partner McGregor and No. 1 lightweight contender Khabib Nurmagomedov (24-0) for Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) lightweight gold.
As one could have predicted, he did not hold back on this topic when he was asked about it on his return to Submission Radio ahead of his matchup with AJ Agazarm at Submission Underground 3 (SUG 3).
“He’s too easily hit,” Danis said about Nurmagomedov. “If you saw in the Michael Johnson fight, he was getting like wobbled and rocked every time they were on the feet. So Conor is going to pick him apart like he does all the wrestlers.”
Danis believes that McGregor’s striking will be far too much for Khabib to handle. While it is obvious that he would side with his teammate for this potential fight, he does have a legitimate point. Nurmagomedov has never dealt with a striker like McGregor, so it will be very interesting to see how he handles such if he gets the opportunity.
“He hits you from everywhere and he kicks you in the stomach,” Danis continued. “And people don’t see those shots on TV, like some of those teep kicks and some of the kicks to the stomach, but those take the wind out of you. And when you basically have to take someone down, it puts a different kind of feeling in your stomach ad in your gut when you have to take the guy down. The guy’s beating you up on the feet, and when you go to the ground he’s elbowing you. So I think Conor puts him away in probably one or two rounds with strikes.”
While “The Eagle” may not be well recognized for his striking abilities, his ability to dominate on the ground has propelled him to an undefeated record of 24-0 and McGregor’s grappling skills have always been in question.
Danis doesn’t think much of Khabib being able to implement his grappling dominance on his teammate however.
“What happened to Eddie doing that though? That’s what people said that Eddie was gonna do that and then he couldn’t even come close to taking Conor down. Nate couldn’t come close to taking Conor down. They all think they’re going to do something until they get in there. I train with the guy every day when I’m out there in Ireland, so I know what he’s capable of, and that’s definitely not going to happen.”
In all fairness, Khabib is much better at dragging opponents to the ground than Alvarez or Diaz are. Even though Danis has to defend his teammate and back him up until the end, it goes without saying that it definitely seems as if he is undermining Nurmagomedov’s skill set just a tad bit.
Lastly, he spoke on transitioning from strictly grappling to mixed martial arts (MMA) and the potential of fighting Khabib himself one day inside The Octagon. Once again, he didn’t hold back.
“That would be awesome,” said Danis. “I would love to do that. His hands aren’t that good, he’s a grappler. So it would probably be a grappling match and I feel like I can submit him. His Jiu Jitsu’s good, but it’s not very technical. He’s a little sloppy. So I feel like I would be able to finish him. But that could happen. But I’m not stupid either. I’m not gonna go to the UFC and probably fight Khabib in my first fight. But you know, down the road that would be a good match up I feel. He’s not going to be undefeated anymore once if he fights Conor, so I’ll be fine to give him another loss.”
At least Danis is realistic about not fighting Khabib right at this moment and “The Eagle” is already booked to fight Tony Ferguson at UFC 209. One thing is for sure though, you have to praise Danis for his confidence — maybe he learned a bit from his Irish training partner.
“That would be a good one. It’d be the first time you’d see Khabib on his back,” Danis said.