New Statement From Conor McGregor on UFC 229 Loss is Interesting on Several Levels

We hadn’t heard too much from Conor McGregor, in terms of his recent submission loss to Khabib Nurmagomedov. But, now the former UFC champ has released a lengthy statement about the UFC 229 fight, which is very interesting on several levels.

Following the massive bout, which saw Khabib end it in the fourth round with a neck-crank / face crush, the consensus has been that it was a largely one sided affair. Nurmagomedov took McGregor down in round one, but didn’t land any telling shots, and in round two, he dropped the star with a right hook, before pummelling him with ground-and-pound shots. In round three, however, McGregor rebounded, and outscored Khabib on the feet. Then in round four, Nurmagomedov took McGregor down again and ended it.

Well, recently, McGregor posted a lengthy statement on Instagram, in which, he broke down the fight from his perspective:

Thoughts on my last fight.
Round 1. I believe from a sport standpoint, round 1 was his. Top position against the fence. Zero position advancement or damage inflicted. But top position.
From a fight standpoint the first round is mine.
Actual shots landed and a willingness to engage. Straight left early. Knee to the head on the low shot. Elbows in any and all tie up scenarios. Opponent just holding the legs against the fence for almost the entire round.
Round 2 he is running away around the cage before being blessed with a right hand that changed the course of the round, and the fight.
It was a nice shot.
After the shot I bounced back up to engage instantly, but again he dipped under to disengage. That is the sport and it was a smart move that led to a dominant round, so no issue. Well played.
If I stay switched on and give his stand up even a little more respect, that right hand never gets close and we are talking completely different now.
I gave his upright fighting no respect in preparation. No specific stand up spars whatsoever.
Attacking grapplers/wrestlers only.
That won’t happen again.
I also gave my attacking grappling no respect. To defense minded.
Lessons.
Listen to nobody but yourself on your skill set.
You are the master of your own universe.
I am the master of this.
I must take my own advice.
Round 3. After the worst round of my fighting career, I come back and win this round. Again walking forward, walking him down, and willing to engage.
Round 4. My recovery was not where it could have been here.
That is my fault.
Although winning the early exchanges in 4, he dips under again and I end up in a bad position with over 3 on the clock. I work to regain position and end up upright, with my back to the fence.
A stable position.
Here however, I made a critical error of abandoning my over hook at this crucial time, exposing the back, and I end up beaten fair and square.
What can I say?
It was a great fight and it was my pleasure.
I will be back with my confidence high.
Fully prepared.
If it is not the rematch right away, no problem.
I will face the next in line.
It’s all me always, anyway.
See you soon my fighting fans I love you all

So, as noted above, this is really interesting on several levels. Chances are some folks, and Khabib boosters in particular, aren’t going to agree with McGregor here that from a “fight standpoint”, he took the first round. Yes, Khabib didn’t do much with the position, but, he did control the frame.

McGregor acknowledging that he didn’t give Khabib’s stand-up enough respect and that he didn’t have any striking sparring sessions is definitely, eyebrow raising as well. Further, while McGregor has been humble in defeat before, considering how nasty the lead-up was for the fight, and what transpired afterwards, the complimentary tone here is really interesting.

Finally, of course, there’s McGregor’s comments about his willingness to “face the next in line.” When you look at what Dana White’s said since UFC 229, about Khabib’s next bout, Tony Ferguson etc, coupled with McGregor’s statement, increasingly it’s looking like an immediate rematch won’t happen.

View this post on Instagram

Thoughts on my last fight. Round 1. I believe from a sport standpoint, round 1 was his. Top position against the fence. Zero position advancement or damage inflicted. But top position. From a fight standpoint the first round is mine. Actual shots landed and a willingness to engage. Straight left early. Knee to the head on the low shot. Elbows in any and all tie up scenarios. Opponent just holding the legs against the fence for almost the entire round. Round 2 he is running away around the cage before being blessed with a right hand that changed the course of the round, and the fight. It was a nice shot. After the shot I bounced back up to engage instantly, but again he dipped under to disengage. That is the sport and it was a smart move that led to a dominant round, so no issue. Well played. If I stay switched on and give his stand up even a little more respect, that right hand never gets close and we are talking completely different now. I gave his upright fighting no respect in preparation. No specific stand up spars whatsoever. Attacking grapplers/wrestlers only. That won’t happen again. I also gave my attacking grappling no respect. To defense minded. Lessons. Listen to nobody but yourself on your skill set. You are the master of your own universe. I am the master of this. I must take my own advice. Round 3. After the worst round of my fighting career, I come back and win this round. Again walking forward, walking him down, and willing to engage. Round 4. My recovery was not where it could have been here. That is my fault. Although winning the early exchanges in 4, he dips under again and I end up in a bad position with over 3 on the clock. I work to regain position and end up upright, with my back to the fence. A stable position. Here however, I made a critical error of abandoning my over hook at this crucial time, exposing the back, and I end up beaten fair and square. What can I say? It was a great fight and it was my pleasure. I will be back with my confidence high. Fully prepared. If it is not the rematch right away, no problem. I will face the next in line. It’s all me always, anyway. See you soon my fighting fans I love you all ❤

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