- Conor McGregor will never fight again if he loses to Khabib Nurmagomedov, one top fight analyst predicts.
- UFC expert Robin Black said the stakes were incredibly high in a bout being billed as “the biggest fight in UFC history.”
- Black said the winner of UFC 229, Khabib versus McGregor, would achieve combat-sport immortality, while the loser would be haunted by the result forever.
Conor McGregor will retire from the fight game forever if he loses his upcoming comeback bout against Khabib Nurmagomedov, according to one of the best UFC analysts in the business.
McGregor has not fought in UFC since his knockout victory over Eddie Alvarez, in November 2016, but he returns with a point to prove having lost his boxing debut against Floyd Mayweather last year.
McGregor is scheduled to compete at the UFC 229 event in the T-Mobile Arena, Las Vegas, on October 6, but as his opponent is the ground-and-pound specialist Khabib Nurmagomedov, three prominent fighters have already tipped Nurmagomedov – the UFC lightweight champion – to triumph with ease. McGregor, right now, is the slight underdog.
If Nurmagomedov wins, UFC expert Robin Black believes it could spell the end for McGregor. “If McGregor loses, in my opinion, he will retire,” Black told RT Sport.
Black said: “As much as there is so much for each one to gain, there is also a lot for each one to lose. If McGregor loses this fight, he will retire. If Khabib loses this fight, not only does he lose his undefeated record, but losses to someone like McGregor, when the temperature has been raised … these losses are painful, they change a fighter forever.”
Nurmagomedov has built up an incredible aura as an almost unbeatable wrestler. He is a two-time Combat Sambo world champion, a black belt judoka, and is unbeaten in 26 fights in mixed martial arts (10 of those have been in UFC).
“A loss for Khabib isn’t just his first loss, it’s a loss to an arch enemy, and it’s a loss to somebody that every one of his fans wants him to destroy,” Black said. “It’s a loss to someone he thinks is ‘a clown,’ it’s a loss to someone he thinks doesn’t belong there with him.”
Black added: “For Khabib, with the win he defends the title, it becomes undeniably his, he retains his undefeated record and he beats Conor McGregor, who at this point he hates and has heat. And in theory the win gets him all the attention McGregor has, all of the audience, all of the support, all the passion around him – love and hate. He gets all of that.”
What if McGregor wins? “Conor gets another belt. He gets to be the guy who defeated the undefeated fighter. He gets bragging rights. [And] becomes bigger even than he is now!”
The fight has already been dubbed “the biggest in UFC history,” and the stakes are therefore high. “After this fight, the winner will be immortal,” Black said.