There’s and old saying. If you live by the sword, you die by the sword. Something that for Conor McGregor came true on Saturday night.
The UFC’s featherweight champion jumped two weight classes to challenge a man who even on 11 days notice has been proven to be one of the toughest men on this planet. McGregor and Nate Diaz put on a show for the Las Vegas crowd that lasted one and half rounds. The Irishmen landed big shots over and over in the first round, but all they did was open a cut and almost closing Diaz’s right eye. The Californian was never hurt or in trouble at any point during the fight.
Through out most of his career McGregor has been known for his fight ending power as well as having a pretty good gas tank. All things that failed him against a bigger and much more experienced opponent. Though McGregor won the first round it was Diaz who would ultimately take advantage of the high paced fight. Conor came out aggressive and continued to pour it on, but something was wrong. The Irish superstar was running on empty.
Diaz landed some beautiful shots that stiffened McGregor’s legs and caused him to attempt a takedown out of pure desperation. Nate, a veteran of 29 UFC fights, reversed the position, landed big ground and pound, took his back and tapped him a rear-naked-choke.
McGregor (19-3) has now tasted his first UFC defeat and this marks his third career loss, all of which have come via submission. Coming into the contest under the illusion that he (McGregor) could use 1,2 maybe 3 shots to put Diaz away may well have cost him the fight well before the cage door was closed.
I feel I was simply inefficient with my energy. Usually, when I fight a man in the division I am champion in they crumble under those shots. But Nate took them very well, I think the weight allowed him to take those shots well.
I enjoyed the fact that a person could take the shots and keep coming. He kept his composure. He went into almost autopilot mode with the shots. His face was busted up. And I went into panic mode. It was just a shift of energy and he capitalised on it.
The backlash from the MMA public has been swift and brutal in the after math of UFC 196’s main event. For Conor McGregor it has all been a learning process, one which he will not shy away from but rather says it’s one he will embrace.
It’s a tough pill to swallow, but we can either run from adversity or we can face our adversity head on and conquer it. And that’s what I plan to do. It wasn’t ideal. I got caught. It is what it is. I’ll take it on the chin. And I’ll carry on. I’ll learn from it. And that’s it.