Earlier in the week, Chael Sonnen compared the headline bout of UFC 196 between Conor McGregor and Nate Diaz to one of the most famous boxing matches of the last 20 years.
The former two-division UFC title contender stated that watching McGregor fall to the Stockton native last Saturday night reminded him of the heavyweight title fight between Mike Tyson and Evander Holyfield(the one that ended with Holyfield still in possession of two whole ears).
Sonnen made the comparison because he claimed that both fights featured the downfall of a bully who wilted in the face of an opponent that refused to yield.
Whether or not you agree with Sonnen’s bully analogy, it’s hard to argue that McGregor and Tyson don’t share a lot of similar traits. They both had big personalities and captivating auras, which combined to make them transcendent figures, not to mention the fact that each man’s style was somewhat defined by crushing punching-power.
With his surprise loss to Diaz, McGregor’s narrative took yet another turn towards the Tyson-esque.
Given that their stories contain so many parallels, it was interesting to hear the former heavyweight champion give his thoughts on “The Notorious” one’s demise during a recent chat with Jim Rome.
“Iron” Mike claimed that the reason for the UFC featherweight champion’s defeat was his decision to do battle all the way up at 170lbs.
“My personal opinion, I think he went up too fast in weight, and I think he fought the wrong guy in that weight,” said Tyson of the Irishman’s welterweight experiment.
A philosophical Tyson stressed, however, that losses are a major part of the nature of combat sports and urged McGregor to analyse Saturday’s contest with a view toward improving as a fighter.
“It’s just something that happens in fighting, and we should all learn from our mistakes. That’s what fighting is all about, learning from our mistakes, improving our mistakes, and improving ourselves. Not giving up”.
Tyson need not worry, as McGregor has shown resiliency in rebounding from two previous defeats and everything that he has said in the wake of this most recent setback suggests that he has the right attitude to do so once again.
“I’ll take this loss like a man,” wrote McGregor on social media. “I will not shy away from it. I will not change who I am. I’ve been here many times in my life in some form or another. I’ll eat it all and come back stronger”.