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Daniel Cormier: Conor McGregor did ‘as good as he could do’ against Khabib at UFC 229

UFC double-champion Daniel Cormier gives his own assessment of the UFC 229 headliner fight between Khabib Nurmagomedov and Conor McGregor.

If there is one fighter who is greatly familiar with Khabib Nurmagomedov’s skill set, it is long-time teammate Daniel Cormier. The UFC double-champion has been helping “The Eagle” hone his skills further at the American Kickboxing Academy in San Jose, alongside other champion caliber fighters like Cain Velasquez and Luke Rockhold.

Cormier went on The MMA Hour on Monday to discuss Khabib’s performance against Conor McGregor at UFC 229 a week ago, and how he thought the Irishman handled himself during the fight.

“Honestly man, that first takedown, I was like wow, he really made [Nurmagomedov] work for this takedown,” Cormier said (via MMA Fighting). “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.”

While he was complimentary towards McGregor’s performance, “DC” says it is likely the best effort that “The Notorious” can give.

“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,” he said. “I thought that 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 [Khabib] 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. That’s what Henry Cejudo does. That’s what he did to DJ a couple times to get those takedowns.”

From their end, Team McGregor is determined to even the score. In fact, SBG Dublin head coach John Kavanagh is already planning a “Rocky 3” style training camp to prepare for the possible rematch.