“What kind of fighter would I be, if I said, ‘Hey, I didn’t get you at 170 [lbs], let me try to get you at 155 [lbs].’ I’ll make my adjustments. I ate up to the weight. This time, I won’t do that… The first eight minutes of the fight was easy. Let’s be honest, I slapped the head off him. Once the gas tank went, that was it. I drowned. He landed that one punch that rang the bell and went, ‘[Gasp], I’m back.’ He was close to being done. One or two more shots and he would have been wrapped up. 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. 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.”
-Conor McGregor talks to ESPN.com about his loss to Nate Diaz at UFC 197 and making changes in his approach into the rematch.
Penick’s Analysis: For any who want to try brushing off the successes McGregor did have in that first fight, well, they were there. He was doing very well through the first round and into the second until he got tagged. Now, I don’t know that the cardio factor came into play to the point McGregor believes here, and instead it may have simply been more the damage Diaz did with a few well-placed strikes. If the cardio issue from packing on weight incorrectly was indeed what led into that finish, then perhaps a different approach would bring a significantly different outcome. If the fight gets booked, we’ll find out, but Diaz continues to hold the cards right now.
[Photo (c) Mark J. Rebilas via USA Today Sports]
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