It’s time for part 2 of the game “Who Should Khabib Fight Next?” The premise is that UFC lightweight champ in Khabib Nurmagomedov is dominant, and needs an opponent after he clears the gaping legal maw of the Nevada State Athletic Commission. Khabib ideally deserves a money fight. But he just beat Conor McGregor pretty handily, forcing the Irishman to tap. So… who should be next? I say a good option would be Al Iaquinta.
Forget names like Tony Ferguson. The MMA Gods have made it clear that pairing will never happen. And Conor needs an easy fight next, otherwise he’s in danger of losing some of his precious luster. Who else is there that could move the needle?
How about the last person to go the distance with the Dagestani grinder? You know, the dude who took the matchup on about a day’s notice, and ended up going the distance. Heck, for his sheer grit, Iaquinta earned Khabib’s respect. So much so that Khabib watched “Ragin’ Al” beat up Kevin Lee this past weekend intently.
— khabib nurmagomedov (@TeamKhabib) December 16, 2018
If Iaquinta was able to withstand Khabib’s withering beatdown and go a full five rounds, how well would Iaquinta do with, say, a full fight camp to prepare?
After beating up Lee, Iaquinta wasted no time crapping on McGregor and demanding a rematch with Khabib. As per MMAFighting:
“If Conor thinks he’s getting a rematch before me, I think that’s some nonsense,” Iaquinta said after defeating Kevin Lee via unanimous decision in the main event of UFC on FOX 31 on Saturday night.”
“I’m the guy who if he wants to get a rematch, I’m the guy,” Iaquinta said. “No immediate rematch for him, he tapped out. I took it like man on a week’s notice, he had all the time in the world to prepare, and he wanted a way out.”
In case he hadn’t made his point clearly enough, he made sure to punctuate it “Raging Al”-style.
“I’m the f*cking guy in this division.”
What do you think? Not just if Iaquinta has a chance in beating Khabib, but if this is a worthwhile fight to make?