Conor McGregor would rather 'choose jail' than get 'locked' in a cage with Islam Makhachev, MMA manager says
- Conor McGregor would rather go to jail than get locked in a cage with Islam Makhachev.
- That's according to MMA manager Ali Abdelaziz.
- Makhachev fights Saturday at UFC 267 and wants the UFC lightweight championship.
A smothering Dagestani sambo specialist, Makhachev competes in a lightweight match against New Zealand striker Dan Hooker during the main card of Saturday's UFC 267 event at the Etihad Arena in Abu Dhabi.
He is already ranked as the No.5 contender at 155-pounds - a division McGregor won a championship in five years ago - and Makhachev could climb even higher in the weight class should he defeat Hooker in style.
But Abdelaziz, who represents Makhachev, doubts McGregor would ever willingly want to fight his client.
"Being locked in jail or being locked with Islam Makhachev? I think he would choose jail," Abdelaziz told MMA Junkie .
McGregor, meanwhile, continues to recover from a broken leg he suffered in his second successive loss to Dustin Poirier in July.
The Irishman may not be fighting fit until the middle of 2022, and Makhachev even said at a media day Insider attended this week that he is not interested in competing against McGregor anymore .
McGregor has not enjoyed a meaningful win in the division since he won the title against Eddie Alvarez five years ago.
Since then, he has lost three MMA fights and one boxing bout.
The lightweight division, the sport of MMA, and the UFC in general, has seemingly moved on from McGregor, who needs to fight his way back into contention.
"I just want to fight for the title," Makhachev said, when asked about a potential McGregor clash.
Makhachev ready to show he is a champion-in-waiting, according to his coach
Makhachev, who recently spoke glowingly of his mentor Khabib Nurmagomedov , is ready to be the next heir to the former champion's old throne.
That's according to Javier Mendez, who trained Nurmagomedov and currently coaches Makhachev.
"It should be a really good, exciting fight and should be a good showcase for Islam Makhachev to show that he deserves to be where he is now, and that he really is the heir apparent to that title," Mendez told The National .
"And come October 30, everybody is going to see that he is 100 per cent the uncrowned champ. I would say it like that. Because he is that good."
On Dan Hooker, Mendez said: "With the plan we have in place I don't see how he's going to be able to do anything outside of the brief exchanges, where he has a chance opportunity.
"Anybody of that caliber, of Dan Hooker's ability, they can take you out. For us not to think that can happen would be foolish. We're prepared mentally and physically, with the right game plan."
Mendez has been confident that he had a future UFC champion on his hands as soon as Makhachev entered the UFC ranks.
"This could be the world title challenge now and Islam could win, that's how ready he is," Mendez said.
"He would beat the guys right now. I don't care who it is. Anyone above him in the ranking, he'd beat them all. That's how confident I feel about him. I've always said that about him, even when he was top 14, 15. And I still stand by that."
Makhachev's fight with Hooker, together with the rest of the UFC 267 main card, will be broadcast on ESPN+ in the US and BT Sport 2 in the UK.Read the original article on Insider