Only 4 interviewed fighters picked Conor McGregor to beat Nate Diaz at UFC 202 but ‘The Notorious’ proved them all wrong with a hard-fought, majority decision win.
It was a historic night for the sport, as McGregor and Diaz battled back-and-forth for 5 rounds to deliver a Stephan Bonnar-Forrest Griffin-esque fight under new UFC ownership.
McGregor is revelling in the moment, telling the media at the post-fight press conference how he, yet again, proved the doubters wrong in the most important fight of his career.
“This was a hell of an important fight for me,” McGregor said at UFC 202’s post-fight press conference, per Shaun Al-Shatti of MMA Fighting. “Everyone, from the media to the fighters, wrote me off for this one. They tried to say if I lose this one, I’m done. They tried to discredit the fact that I’m going up in weight. He was 25 to 30 pounds heavier than me, I don’t care what anyone says. He was a big boy in there. He was easily 190 pounds. I was 167 leaving for the fight and I was saying to myself, I need to eat, try and get up at least over 170.
“But it was a hell of a fight and he’s a hell of a competitor. The whole lot of it brought out the best in me. It forced me to look at myself truly. I’m just grateful.”
The Irishman shocked the world when he knocked out Jose Aldo in just 13 seconds to seize the featherweight title at UFC 194 and has established himself as the sport’s biggest star.
His win over Diaz was paramount, avenging the loss at UFC 196 and proving to critics that he has the heart and endurance to persevere when the going gets tough.
It’s expected that McGregor will move back to his championship weight class to defend the 145-pound title against Jose Aldo, but the SBG Ireland product hinted that his next fight might be in a different sport.
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