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Khabib v. McGregor – Will the fight be as good as the hype surrounding it?

UFC 229’s main event could either be a war, or something else entirely

Be careful what you wish for.

That saying has been brought up many times before. Whether it involved a small birthday present or meeting someone you like, the meaning can result in something good or something bad. Everyone is hoping for the former to take place at UFC 229 when Conor McGregor and Khabib Nurmagomedov attempt to engage in a bloody war. The prize? The UFC Lightweight Title.

There are some weary fans heading into this show at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada. The lead-up to the fight has been great. Khabib has managed to do whatever he can to stay focused, while Conor has done a great job at promoting the fight for the UFC. From verbal wars to history lessons to almost physical confrontations, the pre-fight has seen it all.

https://twitter.com/ufc/status/1048372818994315265

While all of this is great, it is the actual fight that fans care about. We can thank the MMA Gods for keeping these two in one piece. They seem healthy and have the skills to blow the roof off the place. Everyone is expecting a masterpiece, but can the two actually create the next Mona Lisa?

Over the years, there have been various fights that fans have waited/requested for and organizations have complied. The end result has not always been so pleasing. A few examples that come to mind:

– Floyd Mayweather v. Manny Pacquiao

– Tyron Woodley v. Stephen Thompson II

– Derrick Lewis v. Francis Ngannou

– Anthony Joshua v. Joseph Parker

– Ronda Rousey v. Amanda Nunes

In regards to the last point, Ronda was never ready for the fight. Many of these fights were hyped up as the next big thing in combat sports but never got off the ground. Whether it was the referee who got in the way (Joshua/Parker), bad pacing, age or something in between, not everything goes according to plan.

With McGregor and Khabib, the fight can go many ways. Conor can either knock Khabib out cold or Khabib can submit Conor easily. The champion also throws a mean hook that can take Conor out. While the ground game of Khabib is superb, it can get taxing at times. Some say it took too long for him to put away Al Iaquinta or Edson Barboza. If he can’t submit Conor and all they are doing is laying by the cage, it won’t be the fight that will make anyone happy.

Conor hasn’t been known to take it slow. However, after two years away, what kind of shape is he actually in? You could be physically ready but not mentally (looking at you, Rousey). The fight doesn’t have to be a technical masterpiece, but it also needs something to give it that boost the lead-up to the fight had.

Tonight will be the most interesting night in MMA history. Conversation at the water cooler at work on Monday will either be one of praise or one of regret. After a very long night of fights, the main event will be a special one. What side of history will it be on?

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Baseball Editor, Misc. Sports Editor. Covers all things combat sports (MMA, Pro Wrestling and Boxing). When he's not writing, Daniel hosts a podcast, The Main Event.
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