American MMA fighter Dillon Danis, a coach and main grappling training partner of Irish UFC fighter Conor McGregor, during an interview on Tuesday, said that he “would bet my soul and everything I have in my possession” that McGregor would beat Russian UFC lightweight champion Khabib “The Eagle” Nurmagomedov in a rematch between the two.
The now-retired UFC lightweight champion defended his title against McGregor at UFC 229 in Nevada on 6 October, 2018. In the event, the Irishman suffered a fourth-round submission by the Russian fighter. At the time, McGregor, a former UFC featherweight and lightweight champion, claimed he was not focused on the fight and that he fought with a broken foot.
Danis said on Tuesday that he hopes his teammate can get a rematch with Nurmagomedov to prove he is better than The Eagle. Danis believes that McGregor, if focused and fully motivated, can defeat Nurmagomedov and it wouldn’t “be close”.
“I hope so. The thing is, I don’t think it would be close, I really don’t. If Conor’s mindset is like how it is now, it won’t be close,” Danis told the Nelk Boys during a Twitch stream. “Trust me, I know what Conor McGregor can do ability-wise, it wouldn’t be a close fight. Khabib is a one-dimensional fighter, Conor would put him away within five rounds. Look at his last fight and how good he did, that fight was his fight. With the right mindset and the right camp, it doesn’t even close. I would bet my soul and everything I have in my possession that he would beat Khabib the second time.”
Since his defeat in October 2018, McGregor has showed up in the octagon only once, in January 2020 at UFC 246, where he finished American Donald Cerrone with a TKO in just 40 seconds.
McGregor is now back and set to fight American UFC star Dustin Poirier at UFC 257 on 23 January, 2021 on the so-called Fight Island at Yas Island, Abu Dhabi. If the popular Irishman wins the bout against Poirier, only his third fight since 2016, McGregor will likely fight for the lightweight title, held currently by Nurmagomedov, despite his retirement.
Earlier this week, Poirier opined that his upcoming rematch with the Irishman should be held for the UFC lightweight champion's belt, since Khabib retired.
According to media reports, UFC President Dana White is hopeful that the undefeated Russian fighter will come back for one more match, since he only needs one more win to make good on that plan. White and Nurmagomedov are expected to meet the week of the McGregor-Poirier fight. The UFC boss will reportedly attempt to convince the champion to come back to the octagon once more.
Earlier on Monday, Khabib confirmed reports that he and White are set to meet “in a couple of weeks”, adding that they will discuss various points, including his UFC lightweight belt. He said he expects that his belt “will [eventually] be taken by the winner of Dustin and Conor”.
However, The Eagle pointed out that he “would not like to have the likelihood of my return”.
Nurmagomedov ended his professional UFC career in October 2020, after defeating US fighter Justin Gaethje at the UFC 254 tournament in Abu Dhabi. The 32-year-old Nurmagomedov, who has won 29 victories in the mixed martial arts, of which 13 were in the UFC, explained that he was fulfilling a promise to his mother not to fight without his father and personal trainer, Abdulmanap Nurmagomedov, who died of COVID-19 complications on 2 July.