Khabib Nurmagomedov and Conor McGregor are eternal enemies, and the rivalry between the two fighters doesn’t seem to have an end in sight. Years after their meeting in the Octagon, Khabib and McGregor continue to trade blows on social media.
If there’s one thing McGregor does better than anyone else in the UFC, it’s trash talk. Over the years, he’s acquired the title ‘Mystic Mac’ for predicting the manner and time of his victories.
But closer inspection reveals that Khabib Nurmagomedov has been almost as good with his fight predictions. Here are 5 times ‘The Eagle’ proved he can predict the future better than McGregor.
#5 Khabib Nurmagomedov nearly foretold the outcome of every UFC 251 title fight
UFC 251 saw three title fights – Kamaru Usman vs Jorge Masvidal, Petr Yan vs Jose Aldo and Alexander Volkanovski vs Max Holloway.
Taking to Instagram, Khabib Nurmagomedov gave his predictions for the three championship fights, picking Usman, Yan and Hollway. And he nearly got all three right, although it must be said that this wasn’t one of his tougher predictions to make.
Usman coasted to a comfortable UD win; Yan dominated Aldo before securing a TKO victory; Holloway fell on the wrong end of a controversial split decision that many thought he had done enough to edge.
#4 Khabib Nurmagomedov backed Rafael dos Anjos to pull off an upset against Anthony Pettis
At UFC 185, lightweight champion Anthony Pettis defended his title against contender Rafael dos Anjos.
‘Showtime’ entered the fight as a -450 favorite, while Dos Anjos was billed a +400 underdog. Khabib, however, didn’t buy the bookies’ reading of the situation.
“I think [Dos Anjos] smashes [Pettis] in striking and I think he smashes him on the ground,” Nurmagomedov said. “This is my opinion. I don’t know why, but I think he’ll smash him.”
Dos Anjos put in a dominant performance, cruising to a comfortable UD victory that was scored 50-45 by all three judges.
#3 Khabib Nurmagomedov explained why Tony Ferguson would lose to Charles Oliveira
After a sickening beating at the hands of Justin Gaethje, Tony Ferguson took on rising contender Charles Oliveira at UFC 254.
All hopes of the cursed Khabib Nurmagomedov vs Tony Ferguson match-up were dashed after the latter’s loss to Gaethje, which ‘The Eagle’ claimed his rival wouldn’t be able to recover from. Speaking to ESPN, Khabib said:
“Tony Ferguson’s time is finished. How he gonna come back? Someone gonna beat him again, I believe, because when you take damage like this you never gonna be same, never ever, even if you’re Tony Ferguson.”
Khabib’s words came true, as Oliveira dominated ‘El Cucuy’ to win by unanimous decision (30-26, 30-26, 30-26). It remains to be seen if Ferguson can ressurect his career against Beneil Dariush this weekend.
#2 Khabib Nurmagomedov predicted every fight of the UFC 194 main card correctly
The UFC 194 card was headlined by a high-profile featherweight match-up between Conor McGregor and Jose Aldo, but it had several other mouthwatering fights. Khabib Nurmagomedov took to Twitter to offer his predictions for the main card, and astonishingly got every single one correct.
Max Holloway and Demain Maia claimed decision victories over Jeremy Stephens and Gunnar Nelson respectively, while Yoel Romero too prevailed against ‘Jacare’ Souza. Luke Rockhold, who Khabib interestingly now trains at AKA, got the better of Chris Weidman. McGregor, of course, knocked out Aldo in 13 seconds to claim the featherweight title.
#1 Khabib Nurmagomedov predicted the outcome of his superfight vs Conor McGregor
Khabib Nurmagomedov put in one of the best performances of his career against Conor McGregor at UFC 229. He dropped the Irishman with a right hand, took him down repeatedly and used his brutal ground-and-pound for the majority of four rounds before submitting him.
In the lead-up to the superfight, Khabib had a lot to say. During his win over Michael Johnson at UFC 205, which was the same card on which McGregor beat Alvarez to claim the lightweight title, the Dagestani told Dana White between rounds that he’d “smash his boy”. He then said during the ceremonial weigh-ins that he’d dominate McGregor, to an Irish-dominated crowd.
As we know, Khabib lived up to his words. It remains one of the few times Mystic Mac was ‘out-predicted’ – so to speak – in a UFC fight.