Speaking at Win or Learn – An Evening with John Kavanagh, Conor McGregor addressed what have been a whirlwind few months.
A chance to emulate two legends of the sport in BJ Penn and Randy Couture awaited Conor McGregor last March. Having clocked pound-for-pound king Jose Aldo in 13 seconds at UFC 194, a lightweight title fight with Rafael dos Anjos at UFC 196 was slated for the Irishman.
As only the third man in history to hold two UFC world championships, Conor McGregor would have been well on his way to immortality.
However, Dos Anjos withdrew due to injury, and ‘The Notorious’ elected to face Nate Diaz on just ten days notice at welterweight (15 pounds heavier than originally scheduled). The rest is history.
That history weighs heavy on the mind of McGregor, and as he told his home crowd during an event in Dublin, complacency and ill-preparation led to his downfall.
“The last fight, mid-round, I wasn’t listening, I wasn’t paying attention. That was one of the errors I made,” McGregor admitted.
An impressive first round for McGregor saw him carry that form into the second, before Diaz found his range as his opponent tired before the eyes of the world.
Having months rather than days to adjust to the unfamiliar 170lb. weight class gives Conor belief that he’ll give a better account of himself on August 20, when he takes on Diaz in a much anticipated rematch at UFC 202.
“I was a little bit heavy around the mid-section, I was over-trained and it came back and bit me in the ass.”
‘To see the way that last fight went, I can’t live with it.’
— Paul Dollery (@PaulDollery) June 25, 2016
“I’m working my nuts off for this rematch. Believe me on that. I’m feeling very confident that I’ll go in and toy with this man. He was one or two shots from being done.”
It’s been quite an experience for Conor McGregor, turbulent 2016-aside. His favourite moment?
The most controversial aspect of his eventful 2016 though came in the form of McGregor’s ‘retirement’.
I have decided to retire young.
Thanks for the cheese.
Catch ya's later.
— Conor McGregor (@TheNotoriousMMA) April 19, 2016
While he claims here that it wasn’t genuine, it’s release and the reasons surrounding it shocked the world and saw the UFC pull him from their biggest ever event of UFC 200 respectively.
One gets the feeling that SBG’s Kavanagh will have enough material to fill another tome by the time his most famous charge departs from the game.