Irish superstar Conor “Notorious” McGregor was not a fan of UFC color commentator Joe Rogan’s analysis of the lightweight championship bout taking place in October. On Tuesday, news broke that UFC lightweight champ Khabib “The Eagle” Nurmagomedov would fight interim champ Justin “The Highlight” Gaethje on October 24 to unify the title. That night, Rogan took to Instagram to give his thoughts on the highly anticipated match.
Rogan shared a fight poster of Khabib and Gaethje with the following caption:
It would be impossible for me to be more excited about this fight. The return of the GOAT lightweight king, @khabib_nurmagomedov vs his most dangerous challenger, @justin_gaethje. I CAN’T F****** WAIT.
Here is the post:
View this post on Instagram
It would be impossible for me to be more excited about this fight. The return of the GOAT lightweight king, @khabib_nurmagomedov vs his most dangerous challenger, @justin_gaethje. I CAN’T FUCKING WAIT. Posted @withregram • @ufc 🏆 KHABIB. 🏆 GAETHJE. For legacy and for gold. #UFC254
McGregor did not agree with Rogan’s analysis. In the comment section of the commentator’s post, he wrote: “Chill bro [I had] a hangover.” See a screenshot below:
Notorious likely disagreed with Rogan calling Khabib the “[Greatest of all time] lightweight king.” McGregor fought Khabib in October 2018 and lost via fourth-round submission. It was a tough fight for McGregor as he was also dropped earlier in the fight and dominated on the ground.
Since the defeat, Notorious has claimed that he was drinking right up to that fight, and credits that for one of the reasons he lost to The Eagle. In an interview with ESPN, McGregor said: “I was drinking all the way through fight week last time [for Nurmagomedov]. I just had this venom in me or something. I don’t know why.”
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Khabib vs. Gaethje Is a Fascinating Matchup That Will Determine the Undisputed Lightweight Champion
Fans have been anticipating a fight between The Eagle and The Highlight since way before Gaethje won the interim lightweight strap at UFC 249 in May. The Highlight poses an interesting problem for Khabib that many of the lightweight champ’s opponents in the past don’t.
Although Gaethje is known in the Octagon for his relentless striking and pace, he is also a world-class wrestler. His wrestling has gone mostly unnoticed as the Highlight has relied on his striking prowess to earn his 22-2 professional record. Look for The Highlight to use his wrestling defensively to keep the fight on the feet where he has a distinct advantage.
Khabib is arguably the most dominant grappler in UFC history. He has a 5.35 offensive takedown average (average takedowns landed per 15 minutes), which would only be higher if he wasn’t so efficient at keeping his opponent on the canvas. He uses his grappling to brutalize opponents with ground-and-pound.
The question going into the fight is the same question that is asked for every Khabib fight: can the lightweight champion take his opponent to the ground and do what he does best?