If the reigning UFC featherweight champion has to prepare for a fight, he does it in style. Conor McGregor has estimated that his current training camp, for his welterweight rematch against Nate Diaz, has cost in the region of $300,000. This includes the flights and accommodation of all the staff involved, and there are more of them than you might first think.
In addition to his standard coaching team McGregor has brought along several sparring partners, with different specialities, as well as performance and movement coaches. He has also employed a nutritionist, a masseuse and, of course, a videographer to keep those promotional materials flowing. While he admits it’s a lot of money to spend, ‘The Notorious’ points out that, as a percentage of what he’s making, it’s really not that big a deal.
The loss he suffered at the hands of Diaz, by submission, in the second round of their UFC 196 match, was the first of his UFC career. It’s clear from the lavish camp it’s not an experience he wants to repeat. In an interview, with ESPN, the 28-year-old confirmed it’s more than just another fight for him. He said, "I have done things differently this fight. We have been going to war every single day in the gym in preparation for this. So, this is a war to me."
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McGregor goes on to say he believes the expense is well worth it, as he feels sure Diaz won’t pull out. He’s had bad luck with losing opponents in the past, with four out of eight of those he was originally scheduled to fight pulling out. Being confident that his opponent will show up, he says, has made it worth putting in the extra effort, with training specifically targeted to combat Diaz’ style, this time.
Of course, this fight was itself rearranged. It was originally scheduled for UFC 200, but was pulled from the card after he refused to fulfill contractual media obligations. In the meantime, he has barely been out of the media, most recently causing ruffled feathers in the WWE locker rooms with his comments. It’s fairly safe to say Conor McGregor has the media side of things sorted. On Saturday August 20, at UFC 202, he gets the chance to prove his loss was just a blip, and his fighting skills still match up to his media ones.
Who will walk out of UFC 202 victorious McGregor or Diaz? Have your say in the comments section below.