At UFC 196, Conor McGregor suffered the first defeat of his UFC career at the hands of Nate Diaz, ending his 7-fight unbeaten streak inside the Octagon, as well as his 15 fight MMA win streak. After the fight McGregor was gracious in defeat, offering no excuses for why he lost, and admitting that he panicked which resulted in an inefficient use of his energy.
McGregor revealed post-fight that he would be returning to featherweight to defend his championship belt at UFC 200, however the UFC has yet to announce an opponent.
In the wake of the bout, pound-for-pound king Jon Jones spoke to BloodyElbow to discuss McGregor’s loss, and why part of him was glad to see the featherweight champ lose.
“A part of me thinks it’s a good thing he was humbled. Right before he lost, he was getting into conversations about fighting anybody, anywhere, saying things like I could beat anybody, any weight class they’re in.”
“I was getting fans writing me messages asking ‘How would you do against McGregor?'” he said. “I was like ‘C’mon guys, you can’t be serious. I’m a 220 lb, 9-time world champion. You really think he’d even be a match?’ Some people really believed that he can beat anyone at any weight class.”
“So I’m glad that it happened,” he continued. “It allowed the fans to have that reality check, that alright, maybe that guy isn’t unbeatable — stuff that us professional fighters knew the whole time.”
“Then another side of me, is glad to see him lose, because I’m positive this is actually going to bring out the best in him,” he said. “After defeat, you really start closing holes in your game, you start questioning your training to become better.”
With that being said, Jones had high praise for McGregor, saying:
“As a fan of McGregor, I want to see him have longevity in this sport. Guys like Conor McGregor, they symbolize our sport’s future. Conor McGregor is getting fans from all over the world, who tune in and actually don’t watch the UFC, they just watch Conor fight. We need guys like Conor McGregor be successful.”
What do you think is next for McGregor? Will he defend his featherweight championship against Frankie Edgar or Jose Aldo? Sound off below PENN Nation!