Al Iaquinta questions Conor McGregor's heart regarding Khabib rematch
'Raging Al' is itching for a crack at Conor McGregor but he may have fallen down the list of possible comeback options.
Back in December, after he handed Kevin Lee another unanimous decision loss, Al Iaquinta was sitting pretty in the lightweight division. The New York native had acquitted himself well in a title fight against Khabib Nurmagomedov and defeated Lee to sit at No.5 in the division's rankings.
He is one of the best trash talkers out there, too, and put McGregor on notice after his December triumph:
"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."
Much of the 32-year-old's momentum was halted, however, when he lost a decision to Donald Cerrone, who then went on to give one up against Dustin Poirier. So, while Poirier prepares for a September title tilt with Nurmagomedov, Iaquinta is back on the make for a good fight.
To that end, Iaquinta has fired a few broadsides at 'The Notorious'. He told TMZ:
"There's a card in Melbourne in October and Dan Hooker has called me out, so that's a possibility... Myself and Conor is the fight that makes the most sense. He's coming off a big loss.
"He got finished by Khabib [at UFC 229] after he had all the time in the world to prepare for him. I took that fight on a day's notice and I showed my toughness."
Iaquinta feels McGregor is not getting an immediate rematch as fighters such as Poirier and Tony Ferguson are the ones winning fights and putting together runs.
"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."
McGregor has been linked with a November fight against the winner of Anthony Pettis and Nate Diaz, at UFC 244 in Madison Square Garden, but that should only be confirmed once that pair face off.
Another option for McGregor, should he fancy a big weight cut to return to the division that he started off in, is Olympic champion and current 'champ champ' Henry Cejudo. The feather- and bantamweight champion remarked that he would make 'light work' of the Dubliner.
— Henry Cejudo (@HenryCejudo) July 20, 2019
McGregor would dispute that, but he would definitely want to be avoid a take-down by the former Olympic wrestling gold medallist.