Reproitng from Las Vegas in the wake of UFC 196, Off the Ball's Colm Parkinson looks at what lies ahead for Conor McGregor
In the aftermath of his first loss in the UFC, Colm Parkinson looks back on UFC 196 and what it could mean for Conor McGregor.
What an incredible UFC 196 double main event - both favourites were beaten in spectacular fashion with rear naked chokes.
McGregor had a very good first round, landing a lot of left hands on Nate Diaz, who was badly cut and bleeding heavily from his right eye. Conor was very busy in that first round and said after the fight in the octagon and in the press conference that he wasn’t efficient with his energy.
He controlled the second round as well until he got caught with a hard Diaz right hand. While it was the first decent shot that Diaz landed in the fight, it rocked him badly.
That was the beginning of the end for Conor, and after getting hit with some more hard shots he attempted a takedown out of desperation. Diaz took control on the ground and applied the choke after four mintues of the second round.
McGregor said in the ring after the fight that he took a chance on the weight and it didn’t work out, and Diaz certainly looked a much bigger man in the octagon. All the talk about McGregor fighting welterweight champion Robbie Lawlor can stop now, it’s simply not possible to move up 25 pounds and compete with bigger men who are much more comfortable at that size.
"I’m always in good shape, and I peak as I go," said Diaz after the fight. "I thought I landed some good punches that got him off. I started off slow, but I’m faster than anyone later on. My jiu-jitsu is always there for me".
What’s next for Mcgregor is uncertain. He said in the press conference that Diaz is likely to fight Rafael Dos Anjos now, and he would move back down to featherweight to defend his title against Jose Aldo or Frankie Edgar.
Speaking after the fight, McGregor made reference to his opponents who were celebrating his loss: "I cannot understand how somebody not involved can celebrate another man's victory. At the end the day I am the featherweight champion, I feel it is right to go back down and remind them of what I achieved and what I did to that division".
That didn't stop either Aldo or Dos Anjos from doing just that, however.
This is not feather weight— Rafael dos Anjos (@RdosAnjosMMA) 6 March 2016
It will be interesting to see how Conor bounces back from this loss. His opponents will have ammunition on him now, so quite how this affects his trash talking game will be interesting to watch. Will he tone it down a bit?
He added that he learned a lot of lessons from the fight, and we’ll soon see if that’s true.
UFC 196 – McGregor versus Diaz on Off The Ball is all thanks to Four Star Pizza – always packing an honest punch... fourstarpizza.ie