Legendary fighter Dan Henderson doesn't see Conor McGregor beating Khabib Nurmagomedov
Nearly a decade before Conor McGregor became a dual-world champion in the UFC, Dan Henderson achieved the same feat at Pride.
Henderson became the first fighter to simultaneously hold two titles in a major MMA promotion when he knocked out Wanderlei Silva in 2007 to become the Pride middleweight (below 205 lb) champion while he was already holding the welterweight (below 183 lb) strap.
About a year later, McGregor would make his professional debut at Cage of Truth 2 in Dublin. The young Dubliner impressed with a second round TKO victory over Gary Morris, starting off a journey that would see him reach the zenith of the sport and become the UFC featherweight and lightweight king.
Hendo's reign as dual-champion didn't last long. He returned to the UFC in his very next fight to take on the then-light heavyweight champion Quinton Jackson in a title unification bout. Rampage took the victory by unanimous decision and by October of that year, it had become defunct after being acquired by Zuffa.
The future of McGregor is up in the air following his come-and-talk-to-me plea to the UFC's new owners after 205, but he hinted that he plans to take some time off as his girlfriend is expecting a child next year. Until he makes his return to the Octagon, the 145 lb and 155 lb divisions' top contenders will be doing all they can to secure that coveted Red Panty Night.
Arguably the most deserving of a crack at McGregor's 'big boy belt' is undefeated Sambo specialist Khabib Nurmagomedov, who dismantled explosive striker Michael Johnson on the undercard of McGregor's superfight against Eddie Alvarez in New York.
The Dagestani has breezed past everyone the UFC has put in front of him, amassing a record that looks more like a pro boxer's resume (24-0). UFC colour commentator Joe Rogan believes the matchmakers may be lining him up for a huge title fight against the Notorious on home territory. If this were to happen, Henderson doesn't see it working out too well for McGregor as he explained during a recent appearance on The Adam Corolla Show.
"I think that kid that fought last weekend, I have trouble with his name, Nurmagomedv, the Russian kid at 155 would definitely give Conor a huge problem. I think he would definitely take him down and beat the piss out of him."
Henderson's prediction doesn't come from a place of jealousy or cynicism. He admitted that he is fully onboard with the Notorious now after seeing the improvements he's made to this overall game. However, he still believes that grappling may be his kryptonite, and who better to test out that theory than the most feared grappler in the division?
"I don't dislike him. 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 Alvarez just did not fight a smart fight whatsoever. He didn't use his wrestling whatsoever."