On Saturday night at the Mansion House in Dublin, John Kavanagh officially launched his autobiography Win or Learn and his most famous student was on hand to prove that this title is no misnomer.
Conor McGregor will look to avenge his first UFC defeat when he faces Nate Diaz on August 20th at UFC 202, and, despite his loss to the Stockton slugger in March, “The Notorious” one is as confident of victory as ever.
McGregor assured those in attendance that he had learned a lot from the defeat at UFC 196 and identified a number of errors that were made in preparation for that ill-fated contest.
The still-reigning UFC featherweight king, stated that abandoning his normal diet and overdoing it in the gym close to fight night had played a huge role in his welterweight downfall.
“My body almost went into shock and I was stuffing my face and eating everything,” said McGregor. “Usually when I am making weight, like cutting to featherweight is very taxing on me, I almost put my self in bubble wrap and I don’t do anything that’s not fight related. This time I was almost like, ‘I don’t have to make weight, I can train all day long'”.
“So we were doing 6-8 hour sessions during fight week, swinging on gymnastics rings, and, 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 and it came back and bit me in the ass. But as coach always says we win or we learn”.
Eight weeks out from his date with redemption or disaster, McGregor revealed that his diet is very much on point and that he has rededicated himself to cardio. The 27-year-old added that he was staying away from work that wasn’t specific to the task at hand and that he was training with a number of quality specialists who are capable of mimicking elements of Diaz’s style.
“I know that I’m going to be facing a tall, lanky southpaw with a decent lead hand. Now I’ve brought in tall, lanky southpaws with solid lead hands, guys with solid jiu-jitsu credentials,” said McGregor, likely referring to Irish boxer Conor Wallace and grappling wizard Dillon Danis.
“On the flip side, I have my cardiovascular stuff that I’ve worked on also. With the injury and everything, I had kind of left my cardio days behind. I didn’t rack up the miles on the clock like I used to in my amateur days. So I’ve gone back to that. I’ve hit the road on the bike, on the treadmill or on the rowing machine and I’m building up my cardio that way also. So I’m feeling very confident in myself that I will go in and I will toy with this man”.
Interestingly, McGregor also spoke about questions that continue to linger in his mind regarding the closing moments of that first fight.
Badly hurt by a Diaz left-hand in the second round, the SBG product shot uncharacteristically for a takedown and he was subsequently submitted via rear-naked choke. Looking back, McGregor wonders if he might have spared himself the anguish by staying on his feet and soaking up the Californian’s pressure.
“I always look back and question, ‘I wonder what would have happened if I had just weathered the storm,'” said the Dubliner. “Because he was one or two shots from being done I feel”.
“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. And then I took a couple of shots and I shot, and ended up in that guillotine, and it just went downhill from there. I wonder what would have happened if I had just kept my hands up and 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 3 would have began. So there are a lot of questions and stuff that I can improve on the next time”.
You can watch the relevant segment below….
For more from McGregor at last night’s launch, click here.