As with any professional athlete, UFC fighters hate to lose. That is a natural reaction that many certainly have grown to both expect and appreciate. For Conor McGregor, his first loss in the UFC was met with what can only be described as shock around the MMA world. To his credit, however, he has handled it with the dignity and resolve that one has grown to expect. As he prepares for his upcoming UFC 202 bout, it is helpful to look back at the circumstances surrounding that loss and what he has done to prepare himself for the future.
The Setting and Ambiance Might Be Different
McGregor might be the first to admit that he had become reckless in his pre-bout approaches. He had the electric entry, the fan support, and the triumphant coronation that was befitting of a fighter who had simply never lost and appeared to be invincible. The will be all gone when he next steps in the ring, and this could be a good thing. With expectations lowered slightly, he can focus on the skills and fundamentals that have brought him to this point. The fans are certainly looking forward to his return, as is McGregor and his opponent.
Make no mistake about it; McGregor is ready to avenge the only blemish on his spectacular win loss record. To that end, this is a rematch of epic proportions. Many fans have openly expressed skepticism at the approach taken by the UFC to allow McGregor to once again fight Diaz so soon, but McGregor is all for the arrangement. He recently held a question and answer session for the UFC address that very issue and expressed that he is taking a much more analytical approach to Saturday’s fight. He is ready to handle the bright lights and the expectations that continue to be thrust upon him, and he is going to set out to prove that very shortly.
Titles In the Making
It’s a very tall task for any kind of fighter to remain undefeated for their entire career. It’s never really been done in MMA. McGregor has come to accept that and is ready to move on. At the same time, he has his eyes set on multiple titles. Two to be exact. In essence, he wants to be the Floyd Mayweather of the UFC era, and he apparently has the talent to back it up. He has taken his loss in stride and uses it to motivate himself to work on surprise punches and outrageous kicks that will further prove his dominance in the ring.
McGregor is also a true ambassador for the UFC. He appreciates the format, loves the fans, and feeds of the enthusiasm that is contagious on fight night. With his recent talk, however, it will be difficult for him to bounce back if he were to lose to Diaz once again on August 20th. For hit part, Diaz has been quietly preparing for the rematch, ready to knock McGregor off his high perch. If he succeeds, McGregor will find it difficult to gain back the fan support that he feeds off of.