Is Conor McGregor a quitter?
Former Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) middleweight champion Michael Bisping, who serves as mixed martial arts (MMA) analyst for the UFC on FOX crew, gave his take on the fight-ending sequence between “Notorious” and UFC 229 opponent Khabib Nurmagomedov.
The power-punching Irishman succumbed to a fourth-round neck crank after more than 15 minutes of abuse (watch the highlights here). To his credit, McGregor also found moments of success, particularly in round three.
But in the absence of the killing blow, Nurmagomedov was able to play by his own rules.
“Look, what happened towards the end is that Conor gave up, because the choke wasn’t even under the chin; it wasn’t on the neck,” Bisping said. “But it’s easy to sit here and say he gave up. When you’re tired and when you’ve been pounded for four rounds. Let’s not forget that, in that second round, Khabib put it on him bad. When you get to round four, the choke doesn’t need to be perfect, the technique doesn’t need to be perfect. It sucks.”
I think McGregor performed admirably considering he was gone from the Octagon for nearly two years.
The biggest knock against McGregor — dating back to his days as a regional fighter overseas — has been his submission defense. “Notorious” has four losses on his professional record, all four of which have come by way of submission (including this one).
While that might be the narrative around the Monday morning water cooler, I think fans will instead be discussing the post-fight melee that saw Nurmagomedov leap from the cage and dive-bomb Dillon Danis in the stands.
For much more on UFC 229 including all the news, highlights, results, and more, head over to our “Khabib vs. McGregor” live story stream by clicking here.