Conor McGregor made UFC history last week when he effortlessly defeated Eddie Alvarezto capture the lightweight title and become the first UFC fighter to hold two belt simultaneously. It was a remarkable feat, one that had never been done before inside the Octagon, however future UFC Hall of Famer Dan Henderson believes McGregor’s reign as two-division champion could be a short one.
“I think that kid that fought last weekend, I have trouble with his name, Magomedov, the Russian kid, that’s at 155 — I think he would definitely give Conor a huge problem,” Henderson said Friday on The Adam Carolla Show, referring to undefeated lightweight contender Khabib Nurmagomedov.
“I think he definitely would take him down and beat the piss out of him.”
After being sidelined for all of 2015 with injuries, Nurmagomedov made a resounding statement last Saturday at UFC 205, destroying fellow lightweight contender Michael Johnson with a relentless ground-and-pound assault, and even talking extensively to Johnson and UFC president Dana White while doing it.
The performance cemented Nurmagomedov as one of the top contenders for the title at 155 pounds and came on the undercard of McGregor’s big New York showcase in Madison Square Garden.
Though, after watching McGregor pick Alvarez apart en route to a highlight-reel second-round knockout, Henderson admitted that he is starting to come around on the Irishman’s abilities.
“I don’t dislike him,” Henderson said of McGregor. “I think it took me a while to kinda get onboard with him, just to see a little bit more well-roundedness. He’s always shown that he’s got good hands, good kicks, but to see him against a couple different wrestlers that had good hands, it took me awhile to get onboard with him. I think Eddie just did not fight a smart fight whatsoever. He didn’t use his wrestling whatsoever.”
Henderson, 46, also said that he doubted the much-discussed fantasy match-up between McGregor and retired boxing champion Floyd Mayweather would ever come to fruition because, contractual logistics aside, both men have “huge egos” and would never be able to decide upon the financial aspects to the bout.
As for himself, Henderson reiterated that nothing has changed since UFC 204 and that he intends to stay retired despite the close nature of his loss to UFC middleweight champion Michael Bisping. Henderson already has his next big challenge set up too, as he plans to face disgraced former UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones in a grappling match at Submission Underground II on Dec. 11 in Portland, Ore.
“This is a grappling match, and I think that nobody has really ever seen me grapple in most of my fights,” Henderson said. “I just typically try and knock people out and stand on my feet most of the time. I’m actually pretty good at grappling, and I plan on ripping his leg off.”
via MMA Fighting