SUNDAY NEWS DIGEST 12/16: Al Iaquinta joins the line to fight Khabib Nurmagomedov, and more

By Michael Hiscoe, Managing Editor

Dec 15, 2018; Milwaukee, WI, USA; Al Iaquinta (blue gloves) defeats Kevin Lee (red gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Fiserv Forum. Mandatory Credit: Jerry Lai-USA TODAY Sports

Khabib-Ragin’ Al II?

“Ragin'” Al Iaquinta shut up his detractors Saturday night with a decision win over Kevin Lee that many didn’t see coming. It was Iaquinta’s first fight since going the distance in a last-minute title fight with Khabib Nurmagomedov in April. Considering he took Khabib to the limit and now with a win over former top contender Kevin Lee, Iaquinta thinks he’s done enough to get another crack at the current champ.

“If Conor thinks he’s getting a rematch before me, I think that’s some nonsense,” Iaquinta said post-fight. Conor McGregor lost to Nurmagomedov via fourth-round submission in October. Iaquinta joins McGregor, Dustin Poirier who is lobbying hard for a big fight, Tony Ferguson who has been forever linked with Nurmagomedov, and even Bellator lightweight champion Michael Chandler who was open to fighting Nurmagomedov. But after last night, Iaquinta thinks he should be next.

“I’m the f—ing guy in this division,” Iaquinta said.

Sunday Notebook

-Last night’s final UFC on FOX event averaged 2.153 million viewers in the overnight ratings. The best since the Dec. 2016 FOX show.

-Dana White felt that last night’s Edson Barboza-Dan Hooker fight should have been stopped earlier. Hooker took a beating, including many kicks to his legs and knees and eventually just crumbled to the mat in the final round.

-Ben Askren was at last night’s show and had the following to say about Kamaru Usman. “Usman is the ultimate hypocrite, and he’s so dumb, he can’t even put his sentences together. He’s like, ‘I’m not a hypocrite. I said earn your shot.’ Well, no, that’s exactly why I said you’re a hypocrite because that’s literally what Colby said to you. And then they pretend they don’t hear me.”

-UFC welterweight Sean Strickland was in a motorcycle accident this weekend after leaving a training session at King’s MMA. In a series of Instagram posts, Strickland said, “I was riding back from Kings, and I got in an accident. It wasn’t my fault, but I’ve been blacked out for a good minute. I just came to after surgery. It’s going to be a long road back, but I love fighting, so I’ll get back on the ball and make it happen. Thanks for the support.”

-Jessica-Rose Clark has confirmed that she will be moving back up to bantamweight after being hospitalized during her weight cut for her cancelled fight with Andrea Lee this weekend.

Ariel Helwani is reporting that Zabit Magomedsharipov vs. Jeremy Stephens is being targetted for UFC 235 in March.

Fight of the Day

Jones vs. Gustafsson

In case you missed it

-Bellator 213 Report – Macfarlane-Letourneau and Lyoto Machida’s Bellator debut

-David McGrath’s top ten welterweight rankings


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