When Conor McGregor submitted in the second round at UFC 196 to hand Nate Diaz the victory in their bout back in March, it is fair to say the fight world was in a collective state of shock.
Coming into the fight with an unblemished UFC record and taking on a man who had been partying in Mexico just a week earlier, many people expected the Notorious One to come out on top - even with McGregor having to jump to an unnatural fight weight of 170 pounds.
Of course, as things turned out, it was Diaz who was victorious as McGregor visibly tired inside the octagon. Speaking to ESPN this week, the Dublin native has now revealed two pre-fight mistakes he feels contributed to the outcome.
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First, with such little time to find the extra weight needed to jump from 155 - the weight he was set to fight Rafael dos Anjos at before the Brazilian pulled out through injury - and 170 pounds, McGregor made the decision to stop working with his nutritionist George Lockhart two weeks before the pay-per-view.
This led to him not taking as much care over his diet as he usually would in the run up to a fight and, as a result, led to excess energy and, ultimate, the second mistake:
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"Swinging on gymnastic rings on fight week isn't the best thing. Usually, I wrap myself in bubble wrap and only do fight-specific things, but just because of that weight, no weight cut, I had put it in my head that, 'I'm free.' I had energy to burn," McGregor told ESPN's Brett Okomoto.
"I was doing so much bounce footwork, the balls of my feet were burned to a crisp. Looking back, it was ridiculous. I don't know what I was thinking."
Paying the price
By his own admission, attempting to burn off excess energy before stepping foot inside the UFC 196 octagon left McGregor struggling to find the stamina needed to go toe-to-toe with Diaz in the latter stages on March 6:
"The first eight minutes of the fight was easy," claimed the 27-year-old. "Let's be honest, I slapped the head off him. Once the gas tank went, that was it. I drowned."
Whether a different approach to the fight would have allowed McGregor to continue on and defeat his American opponent, we will never know.
However, with a rematch continuously being touted, the Irish fighter isn't taking any chances should it materialise. As noted by ESPN, he is now working with his nutritionist 365 days a year and has also recruited an expert to help with his cardiovascular output.
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