Fight Spotlight: Nurmagomedov vs Michael Johnson

Welcome to our very first free fight film club, where we rewatch old fights sober with the benefit of hindsight. In preparation for UFC 209 next weekend the UFC has uploaded Khabib’s last fight against Michael Johnson which took place November in Madison Square Garden. This was the night McGregor won the Lightweight belt and in just over a week Khabib will fight El Cucuy for the now interim lightweight belt. Watch now before you read on.

After rewatching it, this fight went a lot differently then I remembered. You can never trust alcohol addled Saturday night memories and that’s why these free fights are great. I had the incorrect impression that Khabib was wobbled early in the fight which as it turns out really wasn’t the case. Khabib’s striking didn’t look great, but unlike Rogan I didn’t get the feeling that the few clean shots Johnson landed had much effect. A feeling that is further supported by Khabib immediately taking him to pound town for the subsequent 3 minutes of that round.

The thing that really stood out to me though was what we see in the second. Johnson stuffed all three of Khabib’s takedown attempts. It wasn’t until Johnson pulled guard on an ill-advised guillotine, that khabib was able to resume the brutal ground and pound. In retrospect huge Weidman wheelkick-sized mistake by Johnson, the fight could have looked a whole lot different had it stayed on the feet. And this is what the McGregor fight, should it ever materialize, will hinge on. It’s gonna be McGregor’s 73% takedown defence against Khabib’s 48% takedown accuracy. (s/o Fightmetric)

Tony Ferguson on the other hand is going to be less dependent on his takedown defence because of what a sneaky weirdo he is on the ground with submissions. That’s what makes next weekends matchup such an intriguing fight. Can Khabib have his way with Ferguson on the ground or will he fuck around in transition and wind up in a sneaky Brabo Choke? All I know is if you want the answer to these questions and more check back here next week for our UFC 209 free money guaranteed bet picks. We’ve never been wrong. Except for the one time we gave picks and they were all wrong. We already know who snoop dogg’s picking:

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