In the fall-out from his surprise defeat to Nate Diaz at UFC 196, Conor McGregor has been on the receiving end of a lot of criticism.
Many of the degrading comments heading the Irishman's way, from the likes of Matt Serra, has centered around his decision to tap out rather than 'going to sleep' in the octagon on March 5.
Now, though, McGregor has received support on the issue from none other than Diaz himself. Speaking to MMA Junkie, the American said it was unfair to call out his Irish opponent for submitting:
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"If you’ve got to tap out, you’ve got to tap out,” explained the 30-year-old, before going on to explain the difference between McGregor's actions and Holly Holm's decision to pass out rather than submit in her fight against Miesha Tate on the same night.
“I think Holly (Holm), she thought she was maybe going to get out. She had already gotten out of one (choke earlier in the fight) and she thought, ‘I’m not quitting.’
"McGregor, he was (expletive) done. All the way done. It’s all right. He had to tap out because there was no getting out of that. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with tapping out.”
In Diaz's eyes, the Irish UFC star had no other option but to tap out once he had allowed himself to get into a submission position.
The US fighter is one of the best in executing such a move - his submission against McGregor was a UFC-record ninth of its kind - and sometimes you just have to accept your fate.
Whether you do that by tapping the canvas or allowing yourself to be made unconscious is irrelevant according to Diaz:
“It’s a fight against the best fighters in the world; you’ve got to tap to that (expletive),” he continued.
“You ain’t getting out of it. You can tap out, or you can go to sleep. It’s (expletive) the same (expletive). You tap out if you’re caught. The thing is, that’s what I think, is don’t get caught.”
A submission often leads to questioning of a fighter's pride or will to win. In some instances, however, there simply isn't a lot of options left.
Out of options
After a grueling couple of rounds in which he had received some big hits, McGregor simply didn't look like he had it in him to find a way out of Diaz's rear-naked choke.
McGregor's own coach, John Kavanagh, admitted this week that his charge had perhaps lost too much energy in the opening exchanges.
Putting all these factors into play, those calling out McGregor for tapping out might want to imagine being in his position against the relentless Diaz before questioning his commitment.