Conor McGregor rode in to the UFC 196 main event fight with Nate Diaz on the back of a whole lot of hype and expectations. Unfortunately for McGregor and his infamous hordes of loyal fans, it was Nate Diaz on just 11 days notice who would claim the spoils of victory. In one of the wildest moments of 2016 so far, Diaz rocked ‘The Notorious’ and finished him with a second round submission.
The Stockton star was propelled in to the limelight after so many years of toiling in the non-needle mover category, and the featherweight champion was left with some serious reflection of both his performance and grappling skills. In his post fight interview with Joe Rogan, McGregor claimed he was not efficient with his energy, pretty much meaning he emptied the tank in round one looking for that big knockout finish.
All the talk of eating steaks instead of salads before his UFC 196 welterweight clash with Diaz would now come back to haunt McGregor. Had he really thought that when Diaz replaced Rafael dos Anjos he’d have a walk in the park? According to his coach John Kavanagh, as per his new book ‘win or learn’ (transcribed by The 42), McGregor’s loss was a lesson in many ways.
What people seem to forget about this whole thing is that Conor just loves to fight. Everything else — money, belts or fame — is just a bonus. It’s important that people understand that. He puts himself in dangerous, risky situations by accepting late changes of opponent and exploring different weight classes. Who else would do that in the same way he does? He keeps doing it because it’s all just so much fun to him. He takes those chances because he knows he’ll end up regretting it if he doesn’t, irrespective of the consequences. A strategy error in round two was the difference between victory and defeat on this occasion. Nevertheless, the sun still rose the following morning, just as it would have done if he had won.
McGregor’s long time coach reveals what changes they plan on making for the rematch with Diaz at UFC 202 in August. It includes a drastic change in the featherweight champ’s diet…