Former UFC middleweight champion Michael Bisping believes that Khabib Nurmagomedov would ‘go the distance with Floyd Mayweather’ and last longer in the ring with the undefeated American than Conor McGregor did.
Bisping retired from MMA competition back in May, and is now a well respected analyst of combat sports on ESPN.
‘The Count’ has more than a decade’s worth of experience inside the cage, and has garnered a reputation for his bold and often accurate predictions prior to fights.
On the most recent episode of his podcast 'Believe You Me', he made a controversial forecast that has caused much debate within the MMA world.
Bisping was previewing the highly unlikely and much talked-about possible boxing match between Khabib and legend Floyd Mayweather.
Whilst standing next to CEO of Mayweather Promotions Leonard Ellerbe, Khabib called out Floyd last week via Instagram, stating: “Hey, let’s go Floyd. We have to fight now. 50-0 vs 27-0. Two guys who never lose.”
Bisping believes that while Khabib isn’t as technically proficient as McGregor, he does have a lot of stamina and a great chin.
So much so, that Bisping has backed Khabib to go 12 rounds with the great boxer.
“I swear to god, Khabib would go the distance with Mayweather," he proclaimed.
"I’m not saying Khabib is a better boxer than McGregor, he’s not a better striker, he’s not as elusive, he’s not as slick – but he’s got a f***ing chin and he’s got cardio for days.
"Mayweather, at his age, was never a knockout guy, even though he did have some KO’s. He knocked out England’s own Ricky Hatton in devastating fashion, but I just don’t see it.
“McGregor was very, very tired in the fight and he started eating shots, and in the end he couldn’t even fight back because he was so exhausted and kind of beat up so the referee stepped in.
"That wouldn’t happen against Khabib and Mayweather would probably embarrass him and light him up and pick him apart all night long, but Khabib would probably go twelve rounds. Conor wasn’t far away from going twelve rounds.”
Khabib’s training partner and closest friend Daniel Cormier doesn’t agree with Bisping’s prediction, and has stated that Khabib would be overcome by boxing immortal Mayweather should they ever touch gloves.
Both Khabib and McGregor are currently awaiting their possible punishment from the Nevada State Athletic Commission following their respective actions in the post-fight brawl at UFC 229.
The commission is expected to make a decision on October 24.
Khabib downed McGregor early in the matchup, before going on to defeat him with significant ease via a rear-naked choke submission in the fourth round to retain his UFC lightweight title. Mayweather defeated McGregor via a 10th-round TKO in their boxing clash back in 2016.