If Conor McGregor wants a rematch against UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov, he has to go through Al Iaquinta.
Speaking to TMZ Sports recently, Iaquinta said McGregor doesn’t deserve an immediate rematch with the Russian because he tapped out. As opposed to Iaquinta, who took a fight with Khabib on hours notice and went the distance with Nurmagomedov, although he lost via lopsided unanimous decision (via Sports Joe):
“I’m the guy Conor has to get through if he wants a rematch. I’m the guy. No immediate rematch for him. He tapped out. I took it like a man on a weeks’ notice. He had all the time in the world to prepare and he wanted a way out. I’m the f***ing guy in this division.”
While fights against the likes of Dan Hooker are possible, a bout with McGregor is obviously intriguing. The pair are both in the hunt for a lightweight title opportunity, and the financial motivation for “Ragin” is certainly there.
But as far as McGregor’s aspirations for a rematch with Khabib, Iaquinta doesn’t see the point. In his opinion, the Irishman simply lacks the heart to get past “The Eagle”:
“His stock is not as high as he thinks it is. He got finished in his last fight and, as far as everyone is concerned, he’s dead. He looked like a sissy, tapping out like that.
“He’s got to come back and get a win… and if he does get a rematch [against Khabib], he’s going to get beaten again. That is a fight you need heart for, and he doesn’t have it.”
What do you think about Iaquinta saying McGregor lacks the heart to beat Khabib?