Former two-time Ultimate Fighting Championship king Georges St. Pierre isn’t necessarily a gambling man, but he knows who he has his money on for the newly-announced Conor McGregor vs. Khabib Nurmagomedov lightweight title fight at UFC 229 in October.
GSP said the safe bet is Nurmagomedov when asked on Submission Radio this past week. However, at the same time, the former welterweight and middleweight champion didn’t discount a McGregor victory.
“If I had to bet, if I had to put my house on it -- (laughs) the biggest one -- I would have to choose Khabib over Conor. Khabib never lost, he never lost, and Conor has lost before. He’s lost on the ground. He has a few losses and he lost on the ground. That’s where Khabib is good, that’s where Khabib is more competent.
“However, Khabib is sometimes a slow starter and he gets punched a lot. Yes, he didn’t look good in the beginning of that (Michael Johnson) fight,” he explained. “And it’s hard sometimes to close distance; he had a problem to close the distance. But once he’s got you in the clinch he’s very good. So, I believe the chance, the house goes in Khabib’s favor, maybe.”
McGregor will be at a distinct disadvantage in terms of ring rust. “The Notorious” hasn’t stepped foot into the Octagon since UFC 205 back in 2016. Meanwhile, Nurmagomedov may not be the most active fighter on the UFC’s roster; he’s still logged two significant fights since McGregor’s last UFC about.
McGregor and Nurmagomedov will battle it out for the Dagestani’s lightweight title on Oct.6 in Las Vegas.