Conor McGregor vs Khabib Nurmagomedov: Fan spots moment Notorious should've won fight

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“The Notorious” Conor McGregor was comfortably defeated by a hungrier and sharper Khabib Nurmagomedov back in 2018’s UFC 229, make no mistake about it.

However, a fan of his on social media has identified a short clip from the fight where a stronger and more focused McGregor could have delivered a knockout blow or two, akin to the ones fans have been used to seeing during the Irishman's rampage through the UFC featherweight division from 2013 to 2015.

There was an unprecedented amount of coverage and build-up to this fight, stretching back from April 2018, which was the infamous Brooklyn bus incident between the pair.

The press conferences and media events were certainly a sight to behold, with McGregor even outdoing his standard mental warfare through disturbing personal comments towards the Dagestani fighter.

The fight itself certainly did not disappoint, as Khabib proved himself to be the top dog of the UFC lightweight division through his dismantling of an unusually slow and dull McGregor, which resulted in a fourth-round submission win for “The Eagle”.

A fight of this magnitude warranted intense analysis, and that it got. An eagle-eyed fan (excuse the pun) spotted a moment in the fight where Khabib exhibited a slight lapse of concentration, one that a fitter and quicker McGregor could have victoriously exploited.

In the clip, we see Khabib leaving himself open to multiple left shots from McGregor, narrowly missing them. It began a heated debate on Twitter, with the original poster claiming McGregor would’ve knocked the Russian out during this sequence had he been “switched on” and “healthy."

There were plenty of people that disagreed, to be expected of course. They mainly argued that nearly landing a shot is simply not enough to win a fight.

However, the footage does enough to at least raise curiosity about what a McGregor at the peak of his powers could have done in that situation. After all, his preparation for this fight was below-par, even taunting Khabib by drinking his own brand of Irish whiskey.

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This lack of preparation reared its ugly head during the fight, with McGregor being strangely flat-footed and slow.

The events in the Octagon immediately after the fight between their respective entourages only piqued interest for what seemed an inevitable rematch, and a chance for McGregor to right his wrongs. Fast forward three years to 2021 and a second meeting between these two behemoths of the combat world has never seemed further away.

Khabib retired undefeated and at the top of his game at the end of 2020, with McGregor having won and lost a fight since UFC 229 and now in preparation for a trilogy bout against Dustin Poirier in July.

Could a fully fit and healthy Conor McGregor have knocked out Khabib Nurmagomedov? It’s unlikely that we’ll ever get an answer.

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