Former UFC lightweight champion Anthony Pettis thinks Conor McGregor is more deserving of the lightweight title than Khabib Nurmagomedov and thinks ‘The Notorious’ will KO ‘The Eagle’ to reclaim his belt in the UFC 229 main event at Las Vegas’ T-Mobile Arena.
Pettis, who is scheduled to face former interim champ Tony Ferguson in the co-main event, believes McGregor’s win over Alvarez ‘solidifies him more as champion’ than Khabib’s recent win over Al Iaquinta.
“I think Conor’s win over Eddie solidifies him more as champion more than Khabib beating Al,” Pettis said ahead of UFC 229, per MMA Fighting’s Dave Doyle. “That’s just facts. The belt is where it is, they had to do it for the business, they had to move it forward, but if it was true to the game, Conor would be the champion.”
‘Showtime’ is confident McGregor KO’s Khabib but isn’t sure of the round.
“I think Conor wins,” Pettis stated with confidence. “Knockout. I don’t know what round.”
Although Nurmagomedov is undefeated (26-0) and has never lost a round inside the Octagon, Pettis finds himself underwhelmed by Khabib’s striking and accomplishments.
“We’ve all seen his striking game,” he said. “We saw him in his last fight against Al and how he performed. If he comes like that against Conor? I mean, that’s the wrong guy to do it against I’m sure he’s motivated, I’m sure Conor’s motivated. But I’m picking Conor.”
“Who’s he fought?” Pettis asked. “Who did Khabib win the belt against? He didn’t win the belt against the champion. We’re in a weird spot. He didn’t win the belt against a real champion. You look at the last 10 fights, there’s some good wins, some great wins. But he hasn’t fought the best in the division.”
Speaking of his own fight against ‘El Cucuy’, Pettis believes a win will ‘send a message’ to the winner of Khabib vs. McGregor and solidify him as the next No. 1 contender.
“I think my performance will send a message,” Pettis said. “I think that fight is a great fight. I mean, Khabib is undefeated, i almost had the chance to fight him in Brooklyn, that didn’t happen. I think the media pushed that harder than it was, I didn’t really have a guarantee that I was fighting Khabib. I was almost there, I got excited, now I’m here, I’m fighting Tony, the main event is a great fight, Conor vs. Khabib, they’re both good.”
The blockbuster UFC 229 PPV takes place this Saturday, October 6 at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.