Khabib Nurmagomedov speaking to ESPN.
Khabib Time

Nurmagomedov vows to make McGregor humble in Saturday's UFC headliner

“It’s going to be a long night for him. I’m going to make him tired and maul him inside the cage.”

THERE’S A LONG and difficult night in store for Conor McGregor when he returns to the UFC octagon on Saturday.

That’s according to lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov, who’ll defend his title against McGregor in the main event at UFC 229 in Las Vegas.

Nurmagomedov, who’s renowned for his wrestling prowess, isn’t planning to dispatch his opponent quickly at the T-Mobile Arena. The undefeated Russian expects fatigue to set in for McGregor, whose only defeat under the UFC banner came against Nate Diaz in March 2016.

Insisting that he’s never been in better shape despite bearing some minor scars from his training camp, Nurmagomedov told ESPN: “I’m going to make him humble, teach him, sometimes slap him, make him tired. When he’s tired he always gives up.

“He tries to take you down — ‘oh, please choke me very quickly because I’m tired’ — like he did with Nate Diaz. But it’s going to be a long night for him. I’m going to make him tired and maul him inside the cage.”

During a recent press conference in New York, McGregor attempted to provoke Nurmagomedov by ridiculing his devotion to Islam and insulting members of his family.

The champion admitted that while McGregor’s taunts did anger him, he’s confident of keeping his emotions in check when they settle their differences on Saturday night.

“He just wants to make me nervous, but it’s okay,” Nurmagomedov said. “This is part of his game. Of course I’m a little bit angry but you have to control your emotions. 

“When I go to the cage I’m going to [be in] control. I have a plan: don’t rush, stay relaxed, go forward and make him tired. After, I can do whatever I want.”

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