Conor McGregor was in attendance for the launch of his long-time coach John Kavanagh’s new book, ‘Win or Learn’ in Ireland this week, and he took time to speak to fans about his loss to Nate Diaz.
In a detailed breakdown of what went wrong, McGregor says that the late change of opponent together with an unexpected step up in weight class contributed to his downfall on the night at UFC 196.
McGregor admits that he mishandled his sudden weight gain, eating too much and overtraining in the days leading into the blockbuster fight, while he also suggests that in hindsight he wouldn’t have tried to take Diaz down when he got caught on the feet, and should have just tried to go with the flow and regroup in the third round.
Despite the loss, McGregor is confident he can make the necessary adjustments to come out on top in the rematch which will take place at UFC 202 on August 20th.
Read McGregor’s full thoughts below.
“I’m making a weight limit of 155lbs and then nine days before the fight they say, hey it’s 170lbs. 15lbs is a big difference.
I was on a specific diet to make that 155lb limit and then to be told, nine days out, forget that diet, you’ve actually got to eat up. My body almost went into shock and I was stuffing my face and eating everything.
Usually when I making weight and cutting to featherweight it’s very taxing on me. I almost put myself in bubble wrap and don’t do anything non-fight related. This time I was, ‘I don’t have to make weight, I can train all day long’.
I was doing 6-8 hour sessions on fight week swinging out of gymnastic rings. Looking back, it wasn’t the best idea and it came back and bit me in the ass. I was a little bit heavy around the midsection. I was over-trained. My diet wasn’t great. It came back and bit me in the ass.
As my coach always says, we win or we learn and I have learned and now I am focused. I am staying on my nutrition. I’m very fight orientated now. I’m not swinging out of gymnastic rings too much and I certainly won’t be doing it on fight week. Everything is specific to the fight.
For the last fight I was preparing for Dos Anjos for the Lightweight belt, a small stocky southpaw. I didn’t actually bring in any southpaws, not one.
The reason why we don’t really care what the opponent is doing is because they always pull out, every damn time. This time I know Nate’s going to show up.
I’m going to be facing a tall, lanky southpaw with a decent lead hand. I have brought in tall, lanky southpaws with a solid lead hand. Guys with solid jiu-jitsu credentials and John is managing every session.
“With the injury, I kind of left my cardio days behind. I didn’t wrack up the miles on the clock like I used to in my amateur days.
I’ve hit the road and I’m building up my cardio that way. I’m feeling very confident in myself that I’ll go in and I’ll toy with this man.
I always look back and wonder what would have happened if I just weathered the storm. He was one or two shots from being done I feel.
When that left hand hit he got this burst of energy. You could see it in his corner, they went insane. It was like they won the lotto. I took a couple of shots, then I shot and ended up in that submission.
It was downhill from there. I wonder what would have happened if I had just kept my hands up, kept circling, took the smacks and survived. Eventually his energy that he gained from that left hand shot would have dipped again, and then round three would have began.
So, there’s a lot of questions and stuff I feel confident I can improve on next time, and I am going in here confident that I will get this rematch back.”