“If I really look at it, he has a solid chin, he’s durable, very experienced, he has the size and the weight on me – I think that was the wrong thing to go and expect [the knockout] in the first round. And I did go out to KO him in the first round. I can say that. I marched forward and backed him up against the fence and teed off on his head. I did what I said I would do. But respect to him, he stood out, he’s durable, he’s experienced, he weathered the storm. This time, I’m still going to march forward, I’m still going to press him, I’m still going to bust him. There’s just going to be a lot more in my tank. I’m just going to be a lot more prepared for a man who can stay in there with me, but even still, I struggle to give him past round three. If I was to make a prediction, which I will right now, I believe I will repay the favor and KO him inside the second round.”
-Conor McGregor talks about what happened at UFC 196 and what will be different in UFC 202 rematch with Nate Diaz during a media conference call (via MMAFighting.com).
Penick’s Analysis: There are things frpm that first fight from which McGregor can build from to have more success this time around. He was piecing Diaz up in the early going before he got cracked, and though he attributes most of that to fatigue it may be more that he needs to avoid getting hit like that again in general. He’s getting his chance to prove what he believes about that first fight, and if his prediction comes true he’ll have done that in a major way.
[Photo (c) Mark J. Rebilas via USA Today Sports]
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