UFC 229: Khabib Nurmagomedov Continues to Sound Pretty, Pretty Focused, Despite Conor McGregor’s Verbal Assault

Conor McGregor dropped jaws with many of the comments he made at the first presser for UFC 229, and continues to hurl dire warnings at Khabib Nurmagomedov, but the latter still seems pretty, pretty focused…

As you surely know, McGregor came out verbal guns blazing at the first press conference for this Saturday’s card. The former featherweight and lightweight champ accused  both Nurmagomedov and his father of being cowards, as a result of what transpired at the media day for UFC 223. In addition, McGregor argued that Nurmagomedov has a glass jaw, he dove into political and historical issues regarding Dagestan, Chechnya and Russia, and even had a heated, verbal exchange with Khabib’s manager, Ali Abdelaziz.

Since then, McGregor has continued to talk a mean game, both on social media and in interviews. So does Khabib seem at all rattled? Not really. No.

Case in point, while talking to ESPN’s Ariel Helwani recently, Nurmagomedov said this (quotes via MMA Junkie):

“I’m not politic, you know,” Nurmagomedov said. “I’m professional athlete. If he have problem with my manager (Ali Abdelaziz), he can talk with him. He tried to catch me with something like this; he’ll never catch me. He can fight with my manager, my manager 100 percent going to choke him – he’s a black belt from Renzo Gracie.

“If he have a problem my manager, talk with him. I don’t have a problem with his manager, or with his father, or with someone. I have problem with him. I’m going to fight with him. Talk with me.”

“…He has good whiskey, like he say. He has good money, like he say. And he thinks this is legacy. He thinks. When cage close, I’m going to be very close all the time, and I make this guy tap. First of all, make him tired, and after make him tap. This my plan.”

Now, yes, at the end of the day what matters, is how Khabib performs on Saturday night. Leading up to McGregor’s bout with Jose Aldo, he was relentless in his verbal attacks, and the legend didn’t seem too riled up by what went down. But, when it came to fight night, Aldo did seem anxious, and as we all know, he came out recklessly and was quickly put away.

But, even at the press conference when Khabib faced off with Conor, he didn’t seem intimidated at all, and in his follow up appearances, even the biggest McGregor boosters would have to concede he seems very dialed in. Could that change, however, during fight week? We shall see.

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