Conor McGregor’s Coach Breaks Down Strategy For Khabib Nurmagomedov Fight

Firas Zahabi Explains
Khabib photo by Gary A. Vasquez for USA TODAY Sports

One of Conor McGregor’s coaches has sounded off on the strategy for a fight against Khabib Nurmagomedov.

Longtime striking coach Owen Roddy believes the approach to the challenge of Nurmagomedov will remain much the same as in previous fights as they will look for holes that they can pick apart and find a game plan in order to beat the current lightweight champion.

“We all sit down, and we look at where the holes are and what we can do to exploit the opponent,” Roddy told MMAjunkie. “Khabib brings a lot of problems, as do all fighters. But he’s not bulletproof. It’s not an impossible code to crack.”

“You just have to see where those openings are and put the shots in,” he said. “So that would be my role. Obviously, we would be bringing in a wrestling coach, and (McGregor head coach) John (Kavanagh) would be working the overall game and jiu-jitsu game.

“It’s another day at the office. It’s great fun fighting these different opponents that bring different threats. It’s always exciting to try to come up with a game plan to beat them, and that’s what we do. We try stuff. If it works, we keep it. If it doesn’t work, we get rid of it.”

“If the people kick up enough fuss and get behind that fight, I think it will happen,” Roddy said. “Conor will fight the person that brings the biggest draw. That’s the way he’s always fought. If it is Khabib, that’s the next fight. But I don’t know yet.”

McGregor has not been seen in the Octagon since at UFC 205 in November 2016 when he won the lightweight title from Eddie Alvarez. McGregor then fought in a boxing match with Floyd Mayweather.

Just last month, the first glimpse of him sparring since his boxing bout surfaced online. McGregor wanted to show off his skills to his fans. Since that time from when he competed last, he has stayed in the gym.

Obviously, his edge against Khabib will be in the striking department, and Roddy sees no issue with landing them on the undefeated Dagestani grappler if and when the fight does happen:

“There are always openings, whether you’re a wrestler or a kickboxer or jiu-jitsu guy,” he said. “The fight always starts standing, so there’s always opportunities to land strikes, and everybody leaves openings. I’m sure we can land shots on Khabib – most definitely.”