UFC Milwaukee: Al Iaquinta calls out Conor McGregor after thrilling win
New York lightweight Al Iaquinta defeated rival Kevin Lee, then said if Conor McGregor wants a rematch against Khabib Nurmagomedov, he'll need to go through him first.
Iaquinta made his claim after defeating fellow lightweight contender Lee after five thrilling rounds at UFC on Fox 31 in Milwaukee.
The American was down on the scorecards heading into the final two rounds, but staged an excellent fightback in the fourth and fifth rounds to secure the unanimous decision win, earning scores of 48-47, 48-47 and 49-46 on the judges' scorecards.
And after his victory, Iaquinta had a message for McGregor.
"If Conor thinks he's getting a rematch before me I think that's some nonsense," he said.
"I think I'm the guy he's gotta get through if he wants a rematch - I'm the guy."
Iaquinta stepped up at a day's notice to face Nurmagomedov for the vacant UFC lightweight title at UFC 223 in Brooklyn in April.
The New Yorker performed admirably, taking "The Eagle" the distance in a losing effort as Nurmagomedov captured the UFC 155-pound title.
Nurmagomedov went on to face McGregor in a hotly-anticipated clash at UFC 229, and finished the Irishman via rear-naked choke in the fourth round in Las Vegas.
And Iaquinta stated that that he did more with his short-notice title shot against Nurmagomedov than the Dubliner managed after a lengthy training camp.
"There's no rematch for him. He tapped out," he continued.
"I took it like a man on a week's notice. He had all the time in the world to prepare and he wanted a way out. So I'm the f*****g guy in this division."
Nurmagomedov approved of Iaquinta's performance, and the Russian superstar took to social media to send his congratulations to his former opponent.
"Congratulations @ALIAQUINTA I know how strong you are," he tweeted.
"That's why I was waiting for your fight. #truetalker"