Stephen A. Smith calls for fans to protest potential fight between Conor McGregor and Islam Makhachev

Stephen A. Smith calls for fans to protest potential fight between Conor McGregor and Islam Makhachev

Stephen A. Smith believes Conor McGregor has “no business” being inside the Octagon with a grappler. Especially when that grappler’s name is Islam Makhachev.

On Saturday (June 1) the ‘Dagestani Destroyer’ successfully retained his lightweight world title, dispatching division fan favorite Dustin Poirier in the fifth round via submission, extending his unbeaten streak to 14 straight and further establishing himself as the No. 1 ranked pound-for-pound fighter in the world — even if Dana White doesn’t agree.

Islam Makhachev Conor McGregor

Being the protege of Octagon icon Khabib Nurmagomedov, Makhachev has a natural enemy in Conor McGregor. In the weeks leading up to UFC 302, both men have taken jabs at one another on social media and in interviews, with McGregor being especially nasty toward his former foe’s successor.

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Islam Makhachev Conor McGregor
Islam Makhachev Conor McGregor

Their continued back-and-forth has only further fueled rumors that the two could end up going toe-to-toe inside the Octagon one day.

While that fight seems rather unlikely with both men on very different career trajectories, money talks, and the UFC is in the business of making money. And nobody makes more money than ‘Mystic Mac.’

Stephen A. Smith is confident makhachev would finish McGregor ‘inside of two rounds’

Joining host Molly Qerim on ESPN’s First Take, Stephen A. Smith was adamantly opposed to the idea of McGregor squaring off with Makhachev, claiming that it would be “the worst possible fight” for the Irish megastar.

“Conor McGregor has no business being in the Octagon against a grappler, which is what Makhachev… This brother right here is something special and he’s not going to try and strike against McGregor,” Smith said. “Just like he tried on numerous occasions to get [Dustin] Poirier to the ground [at UFC 302] before successfully doing so with that ankle wrap and ultimately getting him.

“That’s exactly what he’s going to do with McGregor. His whole objective is going to be about getting him to the ground. I think it’s the worst possible fight we could possibly want to see in the UFC. There’s is no purpose whatsoever.

“We should literally protest if they try to put [Islam] Makhachev in the Octagon against Conor McGregor because I believe that fight would be over inside of two rounds. He’ll get Conor to submit, it’s that simple. That’s not the fight we want to see. We want to see someone that’s going to try and knock Conor out and Conor try to knock them out. We don’t want to see a grappler inside the Octagon against Conor McGregor because chances are, it’s going to end soon.”