It’s no secret that Conor McGregor wants to run things back with UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov down the line.
The pair first fought in October of 2018 when Nurmagomedov submitted McGregor in the fourth round of their UFC 229 main event meeting in Las Vegas. It remains the last fight McGregor competed in, until this weekend (Sat. January 18, 2020) when he returns to take on Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone at welterweight.
Speaking to Ariel Helwani of ESPN in a lengthy sit-down interview, McGregor opened up about his poor preparation for the fight with Nurmagomedov. First off, the Irishman admits to drinking just days before being locked in the Octagon with, arguably, the most dominant champion the UFC has ever seen. (H/T MMA Fighting)
“A couple months ago, three, four months ago,” McGregor said. “I was drinking on bleeding fight week with the last one.”
McGregor also admits to flying in opponents from all over the world, bringing them to his gym, having a full-on fight with no headgear, winning, and going out to celebrate, not returning to the gym for several days.
“I had this venom in me or something,” McGregor said. “I don’t know why. I had people holed up in a hotel from that part of the world. I would ring [them] and arrange a fight. So they’d come from the hotel down to the gym and have a full-blown fight, no head guard. A fight. I’d win.
“We’d have a war and I’d win, knock the guy out and then I’d go off and celebrate, and then I’d come back in three days.”
Now, those dark days seem to be behind McGregor, who is in a much more structured environment than he previously was and is looking to make a statement against Cerrone this weekend.
“I’m not going back there,” McGregor said. “I’m in a great spot now. That’s it. I’ve made mistakes. I’ve been man enough to admit them and correct them, and that’s what I’ve done. I might not be perfect, but with a good sleep and a full belly, I’m damn close.”
What do you think about McGregor’s handling of his preparation for his bout with Khabib?