Conor McGregor doesn’t deserve Khabib rematch after UFC 229 mauling, says Daniel Cormier

McGregor challenged Nurmagomedov for the lightweight title he was stripped of in April last month in the main event of UFC 229.

The Irishman’s bid to become a two-time 155lbs champion and hand Nurmagomedov the first of his career ended in the .

Nurmagomedov dominated the contest before submitting ‘The Notorious’, though he did give up the third round to his predecessor at the summit of the lightweight division.

Despite the emphatic nature of his maiden title defence, there are stong calls for the pair to rematch one another.

McGregor himself is keen for a second crack at ‘The Eagle’, but Cormier believes there’s no reason for him to fight the Dagestan native again other than the mass brawl which followed the contest.

“The rematch is wanted because of what happened after the fight,” told Express Sport at the 230 media day. “If that ended and the 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 was thoroughly impressed by his American Kickboxing Academy team-mate’s career-defining victory, saying: “It was tremendous.

“Sadly, the post-fight stuff was so big that you lost track of the fact that he fought a tremendous fight.

“In the stand-up, where Conor was supposed to have a massive advantage, it was evening.

“Even in the third round, if you had to give Conor a round, that was his. That was still a really close round.

“Khabib landed as he took it. He got a knockdown on him, when does that happen? I mean Conor’s never been knocked down.

“He did so many amazing things in that fight. I thought he fought well and he’s seeing the fruits of his labour. Because he is a massive star right now around the world and it showed from the performance.”

Should the UFC brass decide to book Nurmagomedov vs McGregor 2, Cormier believes the fight will play out the same way as the pair’s first showdown.

“Conor to me is a great fighter, and I thought he fought well. I really did,” the UFC light-heavy and heavyweight champion said.

“Because he limited the damage on the bottom, he actually defended takedowns well.

“But I just don’t know if he can hurt Khabib enough to stop him from pursuing him. And that’s where the matchup problem exists.

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.”

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