Nurmagomedov’s trainer Mendez says McGregor is avoiding his fighter:
Yes, 100 percent, he is ducking Khabib. I know that from the words he is saying. ‘He doesn’t fight enough for my taste’? Give me a break. You can say, ‘Hey, I want to fight Nate Diaz a third time.’ Fine. Say that. But don’t try to put my guy down because you are trying to avoid him. Don’t belittle my guy. That’s bullshit…When [McGregor] fought Chad Mendes, I thought it proved he wasn’t ducking anybody. But now he’s doing this and I’m thinking he’s trying to avoid Khabib. I think Khabib, [lightweight contenders] Nate Diaz and Tony Ferguson all give Conor a hell of a fight—but the guy who gives him the worst time, by far, is Khabib. He’s the strongest grappler in the division.
Coach Mendez says that even if Nurmagomedov beats Tony Ferguson, McGregor may choose not to fight him.
You never know – Conor may decide that he wants to go to the welterweight division and challenge for that title. We’ve yet to see if Khabib wins against Tony, whether that fight will materialise. It’s gonna be what Conor wants. He’s in a position where he calls the shots. If Conor says, ‘I wanna fight Khabib’ – OK, fine. If Conor says, ‘I wanna fight Woodley or Thompson’ then that’s what’s gonna happen. Conor knows what he’s doing. He’s the boss so right now he’s in control…Ideally we would all like to see Conor and Khabib fight if Khabib gets by Tony. But that might not be in Conor’s plans.
As for McGregor’s skills:
Stylistically Tony is by far the tougher fighter. Conor poses a stand-up threat, poses no threat on the ground. Tony poses a threat everywhere. And for Conor, Tony poses a lot of dangers too. Tony is a very dangerous customer.