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Balls.ie Speaks To The Only Featherweight To Beat Conor McGregor

Balls.ie Speaks To The Only Featherweight To Beat Conor McGregor

The only man on the planet who has beaten Conor McGregor at featherweight still fancies the Crumlin man to unify the featherweight belt come December 12th.

Artemij Sitenkov, a Lithuanian MMA fighter specialising in submission, fought McGregor back in 2008 in what was Conor's fourth professional bout.

We spoke to Sitenkov about the fight and his thoughts on McGregor both then and now.

The fight itself only lasted a minute or so as Sitenkov had the Dubliner submit to a kneebar. Having taken the fight to simply boost his rankings, Artemij did not take a great deal of notice of McGregor.

I was in my prime...I had a lot of fighters wanting to fight me and McGregor accepted the fight. For me, it was for rankings, it was the beginning of his career, he wasn't in the rankings... I didn't pay attention, those times were the good times for me and he was just a beginner.

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Many critics of McGregor have pointed again and again to his lack of practice and ability on the ground, which is exactly how Sitenkov beat him back in 2008. However Sitenkov has seen an improvement in McGregor's ground game but no great change in his style in the octagon.

He was beating everybody at the time and he's beating everybody now but maybe he is more technical in his stand-up and maybe he is more skilled avoiding ground, he's improved a lot but his style has remained the same.

When asked how he thought UFC 194 would play out, Sitenkov had no hesitation in saying that his past opponent would triumph over Jose Aldo.

He feels that Aldo may be too beaten up to defeat Conor while he also calling into question whether Jose still wants the belt enough.

I'm a big Aldo fan but I think he's gonna lose because McGregor is younger, he's hungrier for victory. Aldo is ten years undefeated but with his lack of motivation and he may be already tired with a lot of injuries he's more veteran then McGregor. McGregor is in his prime right now so I think McGregor is going to win.

Interesting comments from the man whose accolade Aldo will aim to repeat at UFC 194. Whether he does or not we will have to wait and see.

Read more: Jose Aldo Is Really Going After Conor McGregor Over Irish Drug Testing Regime

Read more: Irish Midfielder Explains Why It's 'Easier To Get Into The England Squad'

Chris Kane