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Khabib Nurmagomedov Vs. Al Iaquinta. UFC 223. April 7, 2018. New York. USA. Results

09 April 2018

Khabib Nurmagomedov def. Al Iaquinta in their lightweight title bout at UFC 223 inside Barclays Center on April 7, 2018 in Brooklyn, New York. USA.

Khabib Nurmagomedov was complete control at UFC 223, as cruised to a unanimous decision victory over Al Iaquinta to claim the lightweight title on Saturday at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, N.Y.

While Nurmagomedov’s dominance was reflected in the scorecards — he received tallies of 50-44, 50-43 and 50-43 — not everyone was completely impressed with his performance. UFC analyst Joe Rogan was almost bizarrely critical toward the Dagestani, particularly in rounds three and four, when the lightweight eschewed his grappling to batter Iaquinta with jabs.

Still, while Iaquinta was able to land the occasional punch, Nurmagomedov was never truly threatened in the 25-minute affair. According to FightMetric.com figures, “The Eagle” held a lopsided 134-to-41 advantage in significant strikes landed.

Rogan took to Instagram to address his coverage of Nurmagomedov during the UFC 223 broadcast. In a lengthy statement, the veteran commentator explains why he called the fight the way he did and apologized to any viewers he might have offended with his analysis. According to Rogan, he was simply attempting to point out holes in the lightweight champion’s game.

Rogan’s full statement is as follows:

It is insanely rare to have a fighter as dominant as [Khabib Nurmagomedov]. In one of the most talent stacked divisions to go 25 and 0 is incredible, but to do it without even having a rough moment in a fight is completely unheard of.

The closest thing to adversity he’s had to face in the Octagon before Saturday was one solid punch that was landed by Michael Johnson in a fight that was otherwise a horrifically one-sided mauling. When I’m commentating on someone that dominant I am constantly looking for cracks in their armor, and on Saturday night we saw the first of those cracks exposed by an incredibly game Al Iaquinta.

Most people, myself included, expected the highly favored Khabib to rag doll his last minute opponent the way he’s done to everyone else he faced in the Octagon, and that was the case in the early going, but as the fight got into the later rounds Al was able to keep the fight standing and we saw some possible flaws in Khabib’s defense. Make no mistake about it, Khabib won that fight by a landslide, but it went to a decision, and that in and of itself was an upset.

When I’m looking at a fighter as spectacularly talented as Khabib fighting a guy like Al who is an almost impossible underdog I’m not just looking at this fight, but I’m looking at openings that can possibly be exploited by the best fighters in the division. I saw some of those openings Saturday night, and I certainly found them interesting. In no way am I biased against Khabib, in fact I’m a massive fan of his and he’s one of my all time favorite fighters. If any of you were annoyed by my concentrating on that aspect of an incredibly dominant performance by one of the most impressive guys in the history of the division, please accept my sincere apology.

When I commentate on fights my goal is to highlight the action and make it more exciting for the fans at home. Obviously all this is done live in real time, and if I had to go back and do it again I would often be able to do a better job. Even after all the years I’ve been commentating I still learn something new about the position with each and every event, and when that stops happening that will most likely be when I quit.



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