Undefeated Russian powerhouse Khabib Nurmagomedov captured the undisputed UFC lightweight title with a dominant five-round win over New Yorker Al Iaquinta at UFC 223 – then called for a superfight with UFC legend Georges St-Pierre.
Iaquinta was promoted up the Brooklyn card to face Nurmagomedov after interim lightweight champ Tony Ferguson, then featherweight world champion Max Holloway, were withdrawn from the main event with the Dagestani star through injury and weight-cutting issues respectively.
But while the heavy-handed New Yorker fought gamely, he had no answer to the dominance of ‘The Eagle’, who extended his perfect professional record to 26-0 with a landslide unanimous decision victory, with scores of 50-44, 50-43 and 50-43.
Nurmagomedov dominated the bout from start to finish, mauling Iaquinta with his wrestling and grappling in the first two rounds, then out-striking him in the remaining three rounds.
After paying tribute to his coaches and training partners, Nurmagomedov then called for a bout with Canadian legend St-Pierre in the Big Apple later this year.
“Now I want to fight with Georges St-Pierre in New York, at Madison Square Garden in November,” he declared, before turning his attention to the man who’d just taken him the distance, and taking a shot at former champion Conor McGregor in the process.