Dillon Danis says a grappling match with undefeated UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov would be “easy work.”
Nurmagomedov, who recently announced his retirement from mixed martial arts, is widely considered one of the best grapplers in the history of the sport. Yet Danis, a decorated Brazilian jiu jitsu blackbelt, believes he could make quick work of the unbeaten Russian in a straight grappling match.
“In straight grappling? Ah, come on,” Danis said told Full Send when asked if he could defeat Nurmagomedov in a grappling match (via Abhinav Kini). “Yeah [it’s easy work], come on. Everybody knows that, though. But it’s not my fight. It’s Conor’s fight.”
As Danis suggests, Nurmagomedov has a longstanding rivalry with Conor McGregor. McGregor, one of Danis’ chief training partners, challenged the Russian for the UFC lightweight title in 2018, but lost via fourth-round submission. In the immediate fallout of that fight, Nurmagomedov leapt over the side of the cage and attacked Danis, who was supporting McGregor from cage-side. That sparked a wild brawl between the pair’s teams, which resulted in multiple fines and suspensions being handed out.
Danis has commented on that incident many times since.
“This started I think in the third or second round. I was behind the cage and he (Khabib) started to come, he was pointing and saying stuff to me,” Danis told ESPN in 2019. “I was thinking in my head this guy is crazy. I was just trying to focus on my friend and he kept saying stuff and cursing. Like this dude is insane. Even in between rounds, he was eyeing and mouthing stuff. It started during the fight so I could kind of sense he was in a different state of mind.
“After the fight was over I was obviously in shock,” Danis continued. “Conor is one of my closest friends, training partners, I care about him a lot. I got up and I’m just sitting there because I just saw my friend lose. felt someone hitting me on the back really hard so I’m thinking it was the commission trying to go in the cage. I look back and it was him (Rizvan Magomedov). So I’m like what’s up. Then I turn around and see Khabib throw the mouthpiece or something and there was spit on me because when he threw the mouthpiece, there was spit everywhere. So I was like ‘alright come here.’ So he ended up jumping the cage and whatever happened happened. It was crazy, it just kind of happened.”
Would you be interested in a grappling match between Khabib Nurmagomedov and Dillon Danis?