As is always the case with classic combat contests, Conor McGregor vs Nate Diaz 2 was a lot of fun to watch, but didn’t look like a whole lot of fun to be a part of.
It’s the unfortunate nature of fight fandom, that we must shoulder a certain amount of guilt for actually enjoying what we are watching.
Both men endured through their fair share of painful adversity over the course of the epic five-round battle. Diaz was dropped three times in the early going and his face was rendered a horrific, bloody mess by McGregor’s powerful hands. But the Stockton slugger also doled out his fair share of punishment, as he bludgeoned ‘The Notorious’ one with a variety of thudding shots at the end of round two and pushed him to the brink of another defeat in the dramatic closing stages of the third.
It was gruelling stuff. “A real dog fight,” as UFC commentator Joe Rogan put it.
However, after the fight, UFC president Dana White made some comments that might go along way toward assuaging our collective guilt. Asked by Megan Olivi how the fighters were holding up, White revealed that the battered and bruised pair were feeling somewhat euphoric.
“It’s weird, they’re both like, giddy,” he said(via BloodyElbow).“They’re both pumped about the fight, they said it was awesome. They had a blast, and uh, they’re sick individuals, those two (laughs).”
Ghouls. Glorious ghouls.
White went on to say that the fight, which was highly-anticipated and hyped, had lived up to lofty expectations, and then some.
“This fight was everything that… I thought it would be and more, because again – I didn’t see it going five (rounds). It looked like Conor was gassed and he was done, and then he got his second wind. Nate gets dropped and it looked like he was out, and he comes back… it was just… you couldn’t ask for anything more from, from – it was epic.”
Despite his enjoyment of the fight though, Dana ruled out the possibility of a third consecutive meeting between McGregor and Diaz, reiterating his previous statement that the Irishman must defend his featherweight belt next if he wants to hold onto it. Although he did hint that a trilogy-completing bout was likely to happen at some point down the line.
“We’re definitely not doing this a third time right now,” he said. “I mean, I don’t think there’s anybody that doesn’t want to see this fight again, but Conor’s either going to defend his title or give his title up. Then we’ll figure out where we go from there.”
Based on his own post-fight comments, White won’t meet with too much resistance from McGregor, at least regarding the timing of a third fight with Diaz. As he seems to be leaning toward giving the rubber-match some time to marinate, while he explores other options.