At UFC 229, Conor McGregor returned to the Octagon to take on the lightweight champion, Khabib Nurmagomedov. There, the Irishman was looking to become the new lightweight champion. However, he was submitted in the fourth round and lost the fight.
Now, looking back on the fight, the former champ-champ revealed that his strategy and game plan going into the fight is what costed him.
“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 the fight, he said he has gone back to training the way he used to. And, already he sees results, and now is eyeing that rematch against Nurmagomedov.
“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.”