Daniel Cormier trains with Nurmagomedov at American Kickboxing Academy (AKA) and he believes if McGregor gets a second shot at Nurmagomedov, it should be concerning to McGregor’s team.
“Honestly man, that first takedown, I was like wow, he really made [Nurmagomedov] work for this takedown,” Cormier said on The MMA Hour. “Because this is what we say at AKA — we try to get you lost in the sauce. We want to get you lost in the sauce, right? Like, when we’re on a leg, we want to give you one [takedown attempt]; okay, you’ll defend; two, you’ll defend; three, then you start going, ‘okay, wait a minute,’ then you start to get lost. You get lost in all the different transitions, from to move to move to move, and eventually we get you down. And once we get you down, obviously it’s very difficult to get back up. [McGregor] didn’t get lost in it. Like, Khabib had to go to level four to get that first takedown. He went high crotch, he went crackdown, he went ‘try to get the angle,’ he tried to run the pipe, then he actually had to go to his knees, look across the back to get to a double just to get Conor down the first time. Conor didn’t get lost. He really did a good job, and that’s why if you’re Team McGregor, there’s cause for concern, because I don’t know if he could do that any better and he still got beat in the way that he got beat. That’s why, I think if you’re Team McGregor, you’d be concerned about a fight with Nurmagomedov, because I don’t think he could defend any better. I thought was as good as [he could do], because he did a good job and I don’t know if he could do it any better … because then [Nurmagomedov] is going to go to level five, and he going to go to level six, and he’s going to just keep putting different things behind each other until eventually you kinda can’t keep up.”
McGregor has suffered four defeats as a professional MMA fighter and all of those losses came by way of submission.
DC also admits that the pre-fight comments from McGregor to Nurmagomedov lit a fire under the champion.
“I think, Conor, he was building a fight, and there was just a little bit of a difference in the approach,” Cormier said. “When he was building the fight and kinda going home going, ‘Okay, yeah, I think that might’ve gotten him a little bit,’ or, ‘that got under his skin,’ the whole time it’s causing this guy (Nurmagomedov) to just go, ‘God, I hate him. Man, I can’t stand this dude. I want to hurt him,’ then going back to the gym and training harder and more. So, that’s where the difference lies. It’s like, we (Jones and I) never regretted anything we said to each other or about each other, and it was okay if it just continued to escalate.”
Due to that post-fight brawl, both Nurmagomedov and McGregor are expected to get punished by the Nevada State Athletic Commission (NSAC).