Kevin Lee Takes Shot at Conor McGregor’s UFC 229 Performance: “He Didn’t Respect The Game”

Kevin Lee has let it be known that he thinks Khabib Nurmagomedov has some big holes in his game, but the lightweight contender believes Conor McGregor didn’t have enough respect for the champ.

Nurmagomedov faced McGregor in the headliner of UFC 229 last weekend, and as many people predicted, his wrestling and top game proved to be the latter’s undoing. In round two, Nurmagomedov took McGregor down and pummelled him with strikes from above. After a competitive third frame – many people scored that round for McGregor – Khabib took McGregor down again in round four, and sunk in a fight ending, neck / jaw crank.

Well, leading up the highly anticipated bout, Lee predicted that McGregor was likely going to “sleep” Khabib. In a recent interview with UFC.com, however, Lee offered this take on what transpired in the UFC 229 headliner:

“I saw somebody in Conor that seemed like he fell out of love with the game and disrespected the game,” said Lee. “You can say as much as you want about an opponent before and you can try to get into his head as much as you want, but the minute you disrespect the game and just come at a man with your hands down or if he shoots that low single and you go over the top trying to outwrestle him, I just saw somebody that didn’t respect Khabib’s skills, he didn’t respect the game, and he paid the price for it. I wasn’t necessarily impressed with what Khabib did; he showed the same holes to me that he’s always had. So I saw it more so as Conor losing rather than Khabib winning.”

This is interesting to hear, as since the bout went down, the consensus has been Nurmagomedov showcased why he’s one of the best grapplers the game has ever seen. In other words, there hasn’t been a lot of criticism of McGregor’s performance, rather, the majority opinion seems to be he was just overmatched by Khabib. In fact, McGregor has drawn praise for actually taking a round from Nurmagomedov.

Did McGregor and his team truly underestimate Khabib? It’s hard to say. The fact Conor was dropped by Nurmagomedov in round two certainly rattled the MMA world, and no doubt shocked McGregor and his team.

And in terms of who Khabib should fight next? Lee said this:

“I gotta keep it real and I think Tony does deserve that shot at the title,” Lee said. “There has to be some type of a lineage. There needs to be something like in boxing where they do the mandatory.”

Yup. No arguments here. Lee is preparing to face Al Iaquinta on December 15th at UFC on FOX 31. Iaquinta won their first bout back in 2014 by decision.

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