Israel Adesanya believes Conor McGregor could have beat Khabib Nurmagomedov had he not emptied his gas tank

Throughout their fight week at UFC 229, Conor McGregor and Khabib Nurmagomedov had heated exchanges. Despite showing promising signs in the fight against the undefeated Russian, McGregor was submitted in the fourth round, sparking a mass brawl after the fight was stopped. However, ‘The Notorious’ was able to snatch a round from his Dagestani rival and showed great promise in the first round with his sprawls and defense from the bottom. Israel Adesanya holds the opinion that McGregor could have won the fight if he hadn’t emptied his gas tank.

Israel Adesanya and Conor McGregor
Israel Adesanya and Conor McGregor

The way Adesanya sees it, McGregor came closest to defeating the Dagestani lightweight behemoth. ‘The Last Stylebender’ is using this fight as a learning lesson in the upcoming rematch against Alex Pereira at UFC 281.

‘The Last Stylebender’ will face one of the toughest tests of his UFC middleweight reign when he faces Brazilian KO artist Periera this weekend at UFC 281. The buildup to the event has been riveting, given the pair’s ferocious rivalry, which stems from their two kickboxing fights, which the Nigerian lost by decision and then by stoppage in the subsequent fight.

Speaking to Ariel Helwani on The MMA Hour, Adesanya said:

“The Khabib-Conor fight. I felt like Conor [McGregor] used the wrong strategy. If he had attacked that a little bit differently – because he was the closest to beating Khabib [Nurmagomedov] as well. There was a lot of energy wasted leading up to the fight but that’s just my observation, I’m not in their shoes.”

Alex Pereira feels Israel Adesanya’s team is shook ahead of UFC 281

Within three fights under the UFC banner, Alex Pereira has achieved the unprecedented feat of landing a title shot when he faces Israel Adesanya at UFC 281.

Adesanya’s coach had claimed that it was unfair to give Pereira the title shot with just three victories in the UFC. Pereira reacted to these comments in a recent episode of MMA Fighting podcast Trocação Franca:

“Right after it was announced that my next fight would be for the belt against him, he and his whole team said it was a bit unfair that I was fighting for the belt because I just got here, that Adesanya did so many fights and I should do the same. Man, I’m just hearing that and taking it as something positive for me. That shows me he pretended he wanted [to fight me] and when I got here, his whole team was against it. That shows all of them, he and his team are mentally shook.”

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