After making the daring decision to move up two weight categories, Conor McGregor’s unbeaten run and ambitions of becoming a multiple UFC World Champion have come to a devastating halt.
Diaz, who accepted the 170 lbs fight with just 11 days’ notice, forced McGregor to tap-out in the second round at UFC 196 with a well executed rear-naked choke that came about as a result of a brutal straight left.
This is the first time since 2010 that the Notorious has bowed out of a fight by submission and while the Irishman admitted to feeling regret at his decision, he insisted that he will learn and recover from this disappointment.
“You bet (I regret it). But we can either run from adversity or we can face it and conquer it. I’m simply heartbroken but I’ll pick myself up,” a dejected McGregor said at the post-fight press conference.
“This is the game, we win some, we lose some. I will never shy away from a challenge. I will never shy away from defeat. This is part of the game and I will stay in this fight.
Analysing the clash, McGregor did not deny that fighting in a significantly heavier division proved more problematic than he thought it was going to be.
“I took a shot and went at it but I was inefficient with my energy. Usually I fight a man in the division that I am champion in and they crumble under those shots. But Nate took them very well and the weight allowed him to take those shots well.”
McGregor is likely to return to the Featherweight division next where he will take on a contender in a title bout.
“I am the featherweight champion and I feel it is right to go back down and remind them of what I achieved and what I did for that division.”
— Conor McGregor (@TheNotoriousMMA) March 3, 2016
As for his plans this evening though, it seems unlikely that this will be much of a party.