Reaction to Conor McGregor's loss to Nate Diaz at UFC 196

Conor McGregor recovers shortly after a second round-submission to Nate Diaz. Photo / AP
Conor McGregor recovers shortly after a second round-submission to Nate Diaz. Photo / AP

The aura of invincibility around Conor McGregor is no more.

The Irishman suffered a shock defeat at the hands of Nate Diaz at UFC 196 in Las Vegas - proving to the world that he is human.

Diaz brought the fight to an end in just the second round via a rear naked choke, bringing McGregor's recent reign of supremacy to an end.

Women's bantamweight champion Holly Holm suffered a similar fate, succumbing to Miesha Tate in the fifth and final round of their bout after she was also choked out. In an ironic twist, both Holm and McGregor had agreed to host after parties at a nightclub called "Surrender" following their fights.

Join the King Saturday night @SurrenderVegas - Tickets --> SurrenderNightclub.com/Calendar

A photo posted by Conor McGregor Official (@thenotoriousmma) on


Here's how everyone reacted to Diaz's victory over McGregor:

THE BOSS

Dana White's address to the media after fight night was short but poignant - saying the gate was $US8.1 million while almost 15,000 people came out to witness something special.

"This thing right now, it's breaking every record we've ever had. It's pretty much the biggest fight ever," he said.

As it happened: Upsets aplenty at UFC 196

"This was a fight. This is what this thing was built to be ... and it lived up to everything it was supposed to be. It was awesome.

"There were so many celebrities here tonight. When you have so many people who've seen it all and done it all interacting and saying, 'Holy s*** what just happened?' that's fun.
Tonight was a great night."

THE VICTOR

Nate Diaz only found out he'd be fighting McGregor at this event a couple of weeks ago, but ever since he got the call up, he was certain of one thing - victory.

After he achieved it, he had this absolute pearler of a one-liner, described by UFC commentator Joe Rogan as the "greatest post fight line ever" on his Twitter account.

"I'm not surprised motherf*****s," Diaz said in the Octagon straight after the fight.

"I knew I was the superior boxer, the superior martial artist ... nothing surprised me except for the fact I got hit at all. I think with a full camp I would have been flawless.

"I knew it was going to be a slow start for me ... If I had a full camp I don't think I would have been touched."

He said training with some of the best boxers in the world prepared him for what he'd face from McGregor tonight, but would rely on the UFC for direction on where his career is headed to next.

"He punches hard, he's a hard hitting little guy, but it's nothing I've never experienced before.

"I'm at the top so it's their call what's next, we'll see what happens."

THE NOTORIOUS

Conor McGregor possesses only one trait bigger than the impact of his punches - his mouth.

But the 27-year-old was surprisingly humble after his defeat - admitting he didn't match the standard set by Diaz.

"I'm humble in victory or defeat ... He was efficient, I wasn't efficient," said McGregor.

"I thought I took first round, I was inefficient with my energy. I respect Nate, he took the punch. These things happen in MMA. I took a chance and it didn't work out.

"These things happen, I'll learn, I'll grow. I'll face it like a man, like a champion and come back again."

Perhaps what surprised most was one of McGregor's remarks in the post-fight press conference. He actually enjoyed getting beaten to a pulp.

"The fight was a fun fight as well. We stayed in there, we talked, there was some verbal ... it was an enjoyable fight," he said.

"I still feel UFC 200 is there for me, but I'll go back and see it. I'm heartbroken and that's it."

McGregor said he struggled to deal with the fact Diaz continued to fight so strongly after being on the end of his blows - something that wouldn't normally happen in the featherweight division - a class he intends to re-visit in order to defend his title.

"I enjoyed the fact that a fighter could take the shots and keep coming ... he went into autopilot mode with the shots and I went into panic mode.

"With the realisation that it must take more than one, more than two, more than three (shots) to put the heavier man away. I think if I can win at a heavier weight with that mindset I'll do fine.

"I don't know. I know there's a lot of people celebrating this in the featherweight division ... at the end of the day I am the featherweight champion.

"I think next I'll probably go back down and defend my featherweight crown."

'TIME FOR A REMATCH, P****'

To say Jose Aldo has beef with Conor McGregor is an understatement.

McGregor took just 13 seconds to knock him out at UFC 194 in December and claim the featherweight title. Now, Aldo wants revenge, and he's started the war of words early.


McGregor had seen his rival's tweet before addressing the media, and he was not amused.

"He had an opportunity to show up here, and he didn't, he could be sitting where Nate is sitting right now, he was the first choice," McGregor said.

"He said, 'Anywhere, anytime, anyplace, anywhere', but then he wasn't anytime, anyplace, anywhere.

"Now another man gets a victory over me, and he celebrates it.

"That's the sign of a loser. That's the sign of a runner-up, that's not the sign of a champion."

THE MEDIA

Nobody expected this result. Not McGregor, not the fans and not the media - who finally witnessed a chink in the armour of the UFC's biggest name.

Writing for the Bleacher Report, Jeremy Botter said that for all McGregor's macho mind games and displays of what we'll kindly refer to as a belief in his own ability, it wasn't enough to see him exit the Octagon victorious this time.

"The way McGregor was exposed, however, was this: His bravado, his confidence and his incredible self-belief will only take him so far," Botter wrote.

"This sport is still about hurting your opponent, and it often teaches painful lessons to those who disrespect it. McGregor's disdain for Diaz's power and skill was evident on his face right up until the moment he realised he'd made a huge mistake.

"Diaz is a world-class talent, and McGregor's biggest mistake on this night was in wholly underestimating him in a way that cost him dearly."

Dave Doyle of MMA Fighting said for all McGregor's strengths, moving up two weight classes from featherweight to welterweight was something he just couldn't overcome.

"UFC featherweight champion Conor McGregor has never backed down from a challenge. ... But for all his valiance, moving up 25 pounds turned out to be a bridge too far," wrote Doyle.

USA Today's Josh Peter was another who thought McGregor's hubris cost him on the big stage, saying "he went too far" in his pre-fight trash talk, which gave Diaz all the motivation he needed to beat his Irish rival.

"It started when McGregor referred to Diaz as a 'cholo gangster.' It continued when he said he planned to eat his Latino opponent like a 'carcass.' It was one demeaning remark after the next, and it offered rendered Diaz mute or muttering expletives," Peter wrote.

"Diaz let his fists do the talking, and McGregor had some explaining to do after the man he repeatedly said he'd dominate handed McGregor his first loss in 16 fights."

- news.com.au

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