The first press conference between Conor and Kahbib answered a lot of questions for fight fans. However, despite the obvious takeaways from the presser a lot more can be gauged by an analysis of the body language of the two fighters during their faceoff.
This was exactly what was done by a YouTube channel named Alpaca Thesaurus. At the face off Conor Mcgregor stalked the stage hunting for a prey. Khabib’s reaction to aggression from his sworn enemy was out of character for the proud Dagestani. When Mcgregor stepped up to him, he froze. To understand why this happened let’s take a step by step close look at whatever went down at the faceoff.
Mcgregor took the stage two steps at a time, bent in an animal crouch, while Khabib walked in with an elevated chin. While Mcgregor continued to roll forward, Khabib stopped a good 3 feet short of Dana’s outstretched arm. This was very unusual of Khabib who has no issues walking up to his dude.
Mcgregor is good at making observations. Seeing Khabib stopping back, he puts his palms up suggesting a submissive gesture. It is clear that he wants the interaction. Conor readjusts his suit showing his opponent that he can be civil, the suit being the ultimate symbol of social responsibility.
Conor makes a quick assessment of Khabib’s face, his eyes darting all over the place. Mcgregor takes a deep breath in a conscious effort to allow more oxygen to his brain. Khabib frozen, his eyes dead straight. Normally, Khabib is so full of confidence that he has a hard time hiding his smile.
Mcgregor starts whispering, but doesn’t get a reaction. He hits a nerve when he points at Khabib’s blue lips. Khabib has been pressing his lips, repressing any blood flow. Khabib closes his eyes and backs away. He isn’t looking for any more engagement.
A lot of Khabib’s unlikely behaviour can be attributed to his coache’s advice of not allowing Conor to get into his head.