Conor McGregor spoke about his fatigue problem after his fight with Floyd Mayweather. McGregor explained how he thought that if the bout had gone further, he would have been able to return to his form.
The fight between Conor McGregor and Mayweather happened on August 26, 2017. It was an extremely successful cross-style event where the boxing legend, with a record of 49-0, took his chances against one of the best MMA fighters ever.
The former UFC double-champion talked in the post-fight press conference about Mayweather's qualities, the difference between mixed martial arts and boxing, and whether he could have won the fight referee did not stop it in the tenth round.
"I thought I pushed you up in the earlier rounds, but I tell you what: You are one composed individual. You took it in when you needed to took in; I thought you switch up your game plan three times. I didn't anticipate that three-game changes in the fight. That's what a true champion does. I have to give respect to that," said Conor McGregor at the post-fight press conference. "[It] was a hell of a fight. I would have liked to see the end of the 10th [round]. I think fatigue is like a patch. There's a patch somewhere in the middle of fights, even with the Diaz II fight; I have this patch where I must overcome. I get a little wobbly, but it is more fatigue. If you look at the Diaz II fight, I've come through that, came back [for] round four, round five... I would have liked to see the end of round ten and see what would have brought us, but [Floyd is a] hell of a competitor. Switched the rope, kept the pressure. You've got to give your hat off to Floyd, a hell of a career, congratulations."
Known for his explosive fighting style, starting fired up from the first few seconds of the fight, Conor McGregor only passed through the third round twice in his MMA career. In the rematch mentioned above with Nate Diaz, and most recently, in his defeat to Khabib Nurmagomedov.
In boxing, there are 12 rounds of three minutes each, which could scale up to 36 minutes of battle. In the UFC, on the other hand, main event fights can last 25 minutes maximum, with five rounds of five minutes each.
"One of the main things in [the training] camp was, 'go from five rounds to 12 rounds,' that was obviously the main f*cking thing. I had to experience that 12 rounds of fatigue. And in the spars, with all my sparring partners, when I do the 12 rounds, there was always those middle rounds where I was like, 'I get to say six,' and then I'd be like 'I couldn't see the finish line' I'd be like 'f*ck, I've got so many more rounds left.' And I couldn't see the finish line, but then when I got through them, I got to like round, 10, 11, and certainly 12, I could see, 'okay there's only six minutes left,' and I could dig deep and, and then I get that second wind," said Conor McGregor. "That's why I would love it if I could have just got to the end of that tenth round. But the referee, I thought done a great job. I thought Floyd was phenomenal in there. Very composed, very select with the shots, and that's it. We live, and we learn."
Conor McGregor thinks boxing is very different than MMA
When asked in the post-fight press conference for his opinion on the difference between MMA and boxing, Conor McGregor could not produce a satisfactory answer, but he made it clear that the two combat sports are distinct for him.
"I don't know what the f*ck the difference is, but it's different. It's very different. It's just a little bit more cleaner or something. But I tell you what: I enjoyed it very, very much," said Conor McGregor. "It was an honor for me to come over here to the boxing side and showcase my skills."
Conor McGregor also spoke about the disrespect he felt when many people questioned whether he would be capable of boxing one of the best pugilists in history, Floyd Mayweather.
"I know there was a lot of disrespect and disregard for my [boxing] skill. I'm a multiple weight free fighting World Champion. I was a little bit taken aback by the disrespect and the disregard that I was shown," said Conor McGregor. "In fairness, Floyd and his team never actually showed that disrespect. I enjoyed the fight. It was a great contest and a lot of stuff I'll take with me in my training. People ask me what's next. I'm not quite sure what's next up. [There are] multiple titles in the UFC to think about. I can also continue in the boxing game so... what's next for me is to continue to study and continue to learn. I'm a student of martial arts and fighting. And as a whole, I've studied everyone in the game and all games, including Floyd."
Conor McGregor returns to the octagon on January 23, when the Irishman will rematch Dustin Poirier in a UFC lightweight bout.Published 12 Jan 2021, 05:56 IST