That’s according to former UFC light heavyweight champion Rashad Evans who appeared on Morning Kombat recently to discuss Nurmagomedov.
“What Conor McGregor showed me after what Khabib did to Justin Gaethje, he showed me that he is one of the best to do it!” Rashad said (via Middle Easy). “That’s what he showed me. Listen, I don’t like to give Conor McGregor props because Conor can be crazy sometimes. But you’ve gotta give props where props is due.”
Nurmagomedov, of course, comfortably defeated Gaethje via second-round submission to retain his lightweight title. Gaethje was notably built up as the biggest challenge for “The Eagle” only to go on and lose like 28 others before him.
McGregor, meanwhile, would also get submitted by Nurmagomedov in their 2018 meeting. However, he managed to last until the fourth round and found some success defending takedowns while also winning the third round on all three scorecards.
That shows just how good McGregor is according to Evans.
“What Conor did in that fight with Khabib, in hindsight based off what Khabib has done to everyone else, he shows that he is one of the best to do it in the weight class,” Evans explained. “That’s the thing about it. To be able see what Khabib did to Justin Gaethje, a guy that wrestled his whole entire life, and make short work of him in the grappling aspect, and to see Conor McGregor taken down multiple times, but not only taken down but got up. He made it hard for Khabib to hold him down, and that’s something people just don’t do with Khabib.
“Once you get taken down once it’s a wrap because even if you do get back up to your feet you are a different fighter when you get back up to your feet. That wasn’t the case with Conor. He kept getting back up, and he even won a round once he had been taken down a couple times. So that should show a lot of people just how good Conor McGregor is.”
It’s certainly a valid point.
But then again, American Kickboxing Academy head coach Javier Mendez recently revealed Nurmagomedov wanted to end his fight with Gaethje early so as not to hurt him in front of his parents.
As for McGregor? Nurmagomedov prolonged the fight so that he could punish him more. It’s all down to what you want to believe in the end.
Do you agree with Evans?