In the opinion of UFC lightweight contender Al Iaquinta, Conor McGregor is in for a rough night when he fights Khabib Nurmagomedov at UFC 229. Iaquinta, who lost a short-notice fight against Nurmagomedov by decision in April, made his prediction for the fight in an interview with MMA Fighting.
“The worst-case scenario [for McGregor], I think [Nurmagomedov] takes a few shots from Conor and just keeps coming forward,” Iaquinta said. “I mean, Conor obviously has the power to put him out, but I don’t know. Does he? I think a lot of people think he does, because he’s knocked a lot of people out, but Khabib is tough. He sees things, he’s got a little awkward style, which is different. It’s tough to adjust to, because it’s so different, standup-wise.”
“I think he could just get after him,” Iaquinta continued, discussing Khabib Nurmagomedov. “Get after him, keep the pressure on him. Conor, he’s quit before. He’s given up. Against Diaz, it gets a little later rounds. I think he’s a pretty fighter. If the fight is pretty and it’s going good for him … [Chad] Mendes took that fight on no notice. He had zero in the gas tank going into that fight. If it’s five rounds of that, I think Conor is finding a way out.”
“Khabib has been in there with [Edson] Barboza. I hit people, I’ve hit everybody. I had a tough time hitting him, and when I did hit him, it didn’t have much of an effect on him. He’s got a different style. Like, Dustin Poirier has more of a conventional boxing style. When someone is doing conventional things, you kind of know what’s coming. With Khabib, it’s a little different.”
Needless to say, Al Iaquinta is predicting a Khabib Nurmagomedov win. And that’s just the outcome he’s hoping for.
“I hope he does,” Iaquinta said. “It would look good for me — if he beats the shit out of him more than he beat the shit out of me on a day’s notice. It’d look real good. So, I hope Khabib f*cking knocks his ass out, makes him quit and rearranges his face like he says he’s gonna do. I think it’s gonna happen — I hope it happens.”
What do you think of Al Iaquinta’s prediction for UFC 229’s Khabib Nurmagomedov vs. Conor McGregor main event?
This article first appeared on BJPENN.COM on 9/2/2018.