With two weeks to go until UFC 229, Conor McGregor and Khabib Nurmagomedov are making the final adjustments for the long-awaited main event that will determine the lightweight belt’s owner going forward.
To get a preview of what they’re going to face in the cage, every fighter wants a sparring partner whose game is akin to that of their opponent. For McGregor, a Russian national with good jiu-jitsu and takedown skills was a wise pick.
It’s the black-belt Ayub Magomadov, a natural of Chechnya, one of the Russian republics. This student under Alexandre “Gigi” Paiva was invited to put pressure on McGregor and simulate the game of the undefeated Dagestani fighter.
“Conor was searching for the guy who can do tough MMA sparring, without going back,” Magomadov told Graciemag. “With good takedowns and positional game.”
Magomadov also shared some impressions of McGregor’s game: “He is a great professional, super tough in every aspect of the game. He has great jiu-jitsu and takedown defense. Super solid, technical BJJ. And always goes to war. He is giving 100% in every training session.
“I stayed in Dublin for a week, and we did a session of three 5-minute rounds. He is always learning. Really good base. Tough on the back. His passing is really good too. He is well rounded. I learned a lot from him; this was a great lesson! And he was satisfied too.”
Before Magomadov, McGregor had trained with American black-belt Dillon Danis, also from Alliance.