Current UFC heavyweight and light-heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier recently revealed his opinion on the fight between Conor McGregor and his teammate Khabib Nurmagomedov, saying that McGregor’s performance wasn’t enough to warrant a rematch against the Russian fighter, according to reports from Daily Express. McGregor and Khabib faced off in UFC 229 for the lightweight, where the Irishman was defeated soundly.
In McGregor’s first defense of his title at 155 pounds, he was unable to hand Khabib the first loss of his career, with the fight ending after McGregor was submitted with a neck crank in the fourth round. Nurmagomedov put on a dominant performance with McGregor winning only the third round of the fight before the brutal submission.
Even though the fight was a one-sided affair, there has been a demand for a rematch of one of the most profitable fights in UFC history. While McGregor has spoken about his desire for a rematch since the immediate aftermath of the fight with Khabib, Cormier said that from a competitive standpoint, another fight would be undeserved. Cormier points to the brawl that ensued between the two fighter’s camps in the aftermath of the McGregor submission as the only selling point of the rematch.
Conor McGregor does not deserve Khabib Nurmagomedov rematch after UFC 229 demolition, claims Daniel Cormier https://t.co/TZpck7tFVD— The Sun MMA (@TheSunMMA) November 9, 2018
Speaking at a media day for UFC 230, Cormier said, “The rematch is wanted because of what happened after the fight. If that ended and they hugged and you thought competitively about that fight, people wouldn’t say, ‘I want to watch them again.’ But after all that, the bad blood, people go, ‘I want to watch the fight.’ From a competitive standpoint, there really is no reason for them to fight again. Because of everything else around it, everyone wants it. And trust me, I will be there again to watch it because of everything that surrounds the fight.”
Cormier also spoke about how impressive it was to see his teammate at the American Kickboxing Academy pull off such a dominant and career-defining victory, describing what he witnessed as “tremendous,” and something that was shamefully forgotten due to the brawl that got more media attention than the Khabib victory.
Cormier gave credit to Khabib for neutralizing McGregor’s perceived advantage fighting while standing up, saying they were both about even on their feet. Even the third round that most considered McGregor to have won was far from dominant on the Irishman’s part, according to Cormier.
If the UFC does go ahead with the rematch, Cormier doesn’t believe things will go any differently, saying of McGregor, “He’s a good boxer, but Khabib’s not so bad that he just gets overwhelmed. I don’t think he can hurt him enough to stop him from walking him down, pursuing him and taking him down. And eventually, he’s going to get tired.”