Conor McGregor returned to the Octagon at UFC 229 this past October to take on Khabib Nurmagomedov for the promotions lightweight title.
Ultimately, the fight didn’t go the Irishman’s way as he was submitted in the fourth round. Although McGregor lost, he is confident he would do much better in a rematch as he believes his strategy plagued his performance.
“My whole approach in that camp — the injuries, the non-commitment, even the game plan, the tactics — I attack, I am an attacker and my attack defends. In this camp, the entire focus was defend, defend,” Conor McGregor said in an interview with Tony Robbins (via MMAWeekly). “So every round we would start in the training, I’d have my back against the fence. I’d have my back on the floor. I would always put myself in a vulnerable position and as the camp went on, we just became defensive, defensive. That’s never been what I do.
“It still irritates me to this day because the training partners I train with are heavy people. Like I said that Moldovan wrestler I broke my foot [against] is like a horse,” McGregor continued. “He’s literally like a f*****g human horse and I’ve got an American Brazilian jiu-jitsu champion who trains with me, he was like 200 pounds. They’re big, big, boys but I was always on the defensive with them.”
Since losing, Conor McGregor has said he has gone back to his roots of how he trained when he was a two-division champion. And, already he says he is seeing the results.
“Since the fight, I’ve gone back to training with them and I went with my internal dialogue,” he said. “Not the external dialogue, the dialogue of ‘I can’t grapple with this man and he’s a Russian sambo guy and he’s wrestled bears since he was a kid’ and all this b*****t. That’s external. I let the external infiltrate my internal and it filtered into the fight. But after the bout, I went back and trained with these people and attacked and I mauled them.”
Now, with the right training and mindset, “The Notorious” hopes he gets that rematch against “The Eagle” as he knows the result would be different.
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This article first appeared on BJPENN.COM on 5/22/2019.