We are 10 days away from what is being called the biggest fight in the history of the UFC when Conor McGregor challenges Khabib Nurmagomedov for the undisputed UFC lightweight championship. The match is also considered one of the biggest grudge matches in the history of the promotion following Nurmagomedov’s slapping of McGregor teammate Artem Lobov, which prompted the infamous bus attack prior to UFC 223. However, according to McGregor’s striking coach Owen Roddy, UFC 229 will be all business for McGregor, and whatever personal animosity there is between the two gladiators, it cannot be classified as hate for a professional the regard of Conor McGregor.
“I think maybe the situation just got out of hand or something like that,” Roddy said in an interview with ESPN’s Brett Okamoto. “What happened happened. But I think when Conor fights anyone, he goes in there with the intention, like, he doesn’t look at it as (personal). He’s going in there to put the person away, no matter what. So that’s not only with Khabib, that’s with everybody.
“He’ll respect him afterwards, and he’ll give them the credit when it’s due after fights, like he’s done with the likes of Poirier. He’s talked very high about Poirier, and Diaz, and all of these fighters. And everyone that he’s fought, he’s given them credit. But when you’re in his way, he’s in there to put you away. So he’s like that with everybody.”
And what McGregor is consistently “like” to his imminent foes has been verbally abusive. And although McGregor dominated the microphone time and branded Nurmagomedov with one insult after another, Roddy does not believe it will make any difference in the way Nurmagomedov approaches the fight.
“No, not really, to be honest,” Roddy said when asked if he believed McGregor’s verbal attacks will provoke Khabib to stray from his game plan. “But if he does stand, it’ll be over very, very quickly, I believe. But I think Khabib will come in with the game plan he has for everybody, which is: shoot for dear life. And for me, that’s the only chance he really has. And he’ll have to stand. The thing is, you start standing. So he’ll have to stand. And if he’s there for an extended period of time, it’s very, very dangerous for him.”
Do you believe either Conor McGregor or Khabib Nurmagomedov will fight any differently at UFC 229 due to the animosity between them?