Conor McGregor wasted no time getting back into form when he returned to the stage earlier this month for UFC 229’s first official press conference (full replay here).
The former UFC champion verbally blasted current lightweight king Khabib Nurmagomedov in what UFC president Dana White considered the darkest press conference he’s ever seen. With McGregor attacking Khabib’s father, telling Khabib he would have killed him in Brooklyn if given the chance, and launching a personal attack against Khabib’s manager, Ali Abdelaziz, it’s hard to disagree with White.
While McGregor’s insults and rants would be more than enough to shake most fighters, Khabib seems stoic in these moments. But that doesn’t mean members of Khabib’s team aren’t taking notice of what McGregor is spitting out on stage. Just ask former UFC middleweight champion and American Kickboxing Academy member Luke Rockhold.
“I watched a bit of it on my drive to practice. It is what it is,” Rockhold said in a recent interview with Submission Radio (shown above). “I think there’s obviously somewhat of a communication barrier, but Khabib gets his point across. He’s composed. You can see his demeanor. I know where he’s at.”
“Conor’s…Conor. He’s selling it, man. He’s on the brink of insanity and it’s f—king awesome.”
Rockhold, who is known to talk a lot of trash himself, believes McGregor’s words are falling on deaf ears when it comes to Nurmagomedov.
“Khabib’s a pretty smooth character. He doesn’t really let a lot affect him,” Rockhold said. “I think you all can see that. Conor always does his homework, he always does his sh-t and he’s always gonna be himself, but the man can fight.”
As far as the fight itself, Rockhold is confident that McGregor won’t be able to back up his talk. The former UFC champion believes Khabib’s track record speaks for itself.
“We all know Khabib can do his thing. He’s 26-0 now. I mean, that’s an unheard of thing,” he added. “The guy’s never lost. Conor’s lost multiple times. Khabib is dangerous. Anybody can lose, but we’ll see what happens.
“If Khabib gets a hold of him, it’s a different world. You can’t tussle with somebody who’s grappled like that his whole life. I’ve grappled with a lot of 155-pounders in the world and not one, not one can give me the go that Khabib has.”
We’ll find out in one week (cross your fingers) if McGregor is really on the brink of insanity or if he’s on the brink of another masterful performance inside of the cage.
For more UFC 229 news click here.