UFC 229 preview: Is this the defining moment of Connor McGregor’s career?

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Image: Village Cinemas

Its been almost two years since Connor McGregor’s career reached the highest of heights. His win over American fighter Eddie Alvarez helping to solidify his legacy, as the first fighter to hold Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) titles in two divisions. At that moment in November 2016 it seemed as if the sky was the limit for one of the most talented mixed martial artists to ever step foot in an octagon, the UFC his for the taking. 

Fast forward two years and it seems almost unfathomable that Connor McGregor hasn’t entered an octagon since his fight with Alvarez. His polarising, egotistical approach to life has largely been the seed of his well publicised fall from grace over the past 18 months.

Thankfully the fighting irishman has a chance to begin the redemption process… that chance comes in the form of undefeated UFC Lightweight Champion Khabib Nurmagomedov. The Russian wrestling specialist holds a professional record of 26-0, his grappling and ground game dominating all who have come before him.

McGregor’s history against wrestlers is a slight red flag heading into this matchup. He has a hard fought win to his name over American wrestling specialist Chad Mendes, but also lost by submission to another American in Nate Diaz in his most public loss to date. Both fights showed a significant chink in McGregor’s armour, his ability to defend himself on the ground, as seen below (warning graphic content).

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=alvsnk3PDTg

The biggest challenge that faces McGregor in this fight is finding a way to keep Khabib on his feet long enough to do damage with his strikes. The stand-up game will be the Irishman’s only chance to dethrone the Russian, the minute McGregor finds his back on the canvas is the minute the fight is effectively over.

The bad blood between these two fighters has been boiling over for too long, with both taking pot shots at each other from a distance. UFC fans have finally received the matchup they deserve, in what looms as one of the most hyped matches in the promotions history. 

It doesn’t feel right to talk about someone of McGregor’s stature as an underdog, but that is precisely what he will be as he steps back into the octagon on Saturday Oct. 6th. Of the many questions that will be asked in the lead up to this fight, perhaps the most important is what effect being an underdog will have on McGregor?

Former mixed martial artist and kick boxer Braden Anderson gave us his view on the fight, when he spoke with Dscribe earlier in the week.

If the career of Connor McGregor so far has proven anything, its that the spirit of the fighting Irish is sure to shine through during the bout… if that is enough to claim victory is yet to be seen. 

 

 

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