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Midnight Mania! Randy Couture has big praise for Khabib Nurmagomedov ahead of McGregor bout

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Former UFC light heavyweight and heavyweight champion Randy Couture isn’t sure that UFC 229 will break the record, though he thinks the Mayweather fight did raise McGregor’s mainstream profile. Via

“Certainly, coming off the pay-per-view from the (Floyd Mayweather vs. McGregor boxing match) and all the boxing people who saw that, a lot of those folks will turn around and tune in to watch this MMA competition,” Couture today told MMAjunkie. “That’s certainly going to help.

“It’s not like either one of these guys are WWE guys, so those tend to be the biggest pay-per-views, when they find a way to bring these WWE guys in. The CM Punk (and) Brock Lesnar type fights, that whole WWE crowd tunes in and those tend to be bigger pay-per-views. But it’s all speculation.”

Randy Couture participated in one of only three pre-2010 fights to break one million PPV buys, against Brock Lesnar at UFC 91, so his perception of the drawing power of WWE stars is understandable. It’s not exactly accurate; the current Pay-Per-View (PPV) record is held by UFC 202, headlined by Conor McGregor vs. Nate Diaz 2. That event sold approximately 1.6 million buys; Dana White, never one to refrain from hyperbole, thinks UFC 229 will eclipse 2 million buys.

One of the most effective wrestlers and clinch fighters of his day, Couture admires the game of Dagestani lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov.

“Not only does he not run his mouth and all the extracurricular stuff, but he’s got that grinding style that was kind of my forte,” Couture said. “So, I like the way he fights. Some people don’t like the way he fights – I think he’s brilliant.

“I think he’s exactly the type of fighter that’s going to give Conor McGregor trouble. We’ve seen that a little bit with Chad Mendes. We saw it a little bit with Nate Diaz – that style that forces him to fight on the ground off his back potentially is a style that’s going to give him trouble.”

He says that McGregor has been impressive in the Octagon, but he isn’t a fan of McGregor’s out-of-cage behavior.

“(McGregor’s) fighting style and his ability to back it up in the cage speaks for itself,” he said. “He does some very dynamic things. Some of the things he does using his range and accuracy is impressive. He does a good job. I’m just not a fan of all that other crap.”

UFC 229 happens in Las Vegas on October 6 in Las Vegas.


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