Conor McGregor is by far the biggest far in UFC history, and his star power has historically given him some real influence within the organization. According to UFC lightweight contender Al Iaquinta, however, McGregor’s stock has taken a major hit since his submission loss to UFC lightweight champ Khabib Nurmagomedov — even if he doesn’t realize it himself.
“He’s coming off a big loss,” Iaquinta told TMZ of McGregor (transcript via MMA News). “He got finished by Khabib and he had all the time in the world to prepare for that fight. I took the fight [with Khabib] on a day’s notice and I showed my toughness. We’d still be fighting right now if there was no ref. If there was no time on the fight, I’m fighting forever. I’m fighting till I die. Conor’s not doing that. So I mean, I think that’s the fight that really makes the most sense, but he’s selling whiskey and he’s doing other things.
“I don’t think he’s getting a rematch because there’s guys that are working their way back, guys that are getting wins,” Iaquinta added, continuing to spurn McGregor. “His stock’s not as high as he thinks it is. He got finished in his last fight. As far as everyone’s concerned, he’s dead. The ref had to pull the guy off him. He looked like a sissy tapping out like that. So he’s gotta come back and get a win, and he’s not doing it. And if he does get a rematch, he’s gonna get beat again. It’s gonna be the same thing. That’s a fight that you need heart for, and he doesn’t have it.”
The reason is that Al Iaquinta is making these comments is that he wants to fight Conor McGregor. He doesn’t believe McGregor deserves a rematch with Nurmagomedov, and claims that the Irishman needs to fight somebody else first. He’s hoping to be that somebody.
“That would make the most sense out of everything,” he said of the matchup.
This article first appeared on BJPENN.COM on 7/30/2019.