Tuesday 27 September 2016

‘Betrayed by overconfidence’ – Global media reaction to Conor McGregor defeat

Published 06/03/2016 | 17:46

There was a mixed global media reaction to Nate Diaz’s unexpected victory over Conor McGregor at UFC 196, ranging from surprise in the States, to downright glee in Brazil.

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‘The Notorious’  was choked out in the welterweight bout at UFC 196 and admitted afterwards the loss was hard to accept.

"I'm simply heartbroken and that's it," he told reporters.

"I thought I took him in the first round. I'm humble in victory or defeat. I took a chance to move up a weight and it didn't work."

Struggling to stay in the fight, McGregor took it to the mat, but it was a move that backfired in stunning fashion as he suffered more punishment from the heavy-hitting Diaz.

A black belt in jiu-jitsu, Diaz then slipped behind him and applied the choke hold that finished the fight, silencing the thousands of Irish fans for the first time on the night.

Conor McGregor (R) punches Nate Diaz during UFC 196 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena on March 5, 2016 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Rey Del Rio/Getty Images)
Conor McGregor (R) punches Nate Diaz during UFC 196 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena on March 5, 2016 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Rey Del Rio/Getty Images)

McGregor will defend his UFC featherweight title when he steps into the octagon next and it appears that will be against Jose Aldo after the Brazilian's post-fight taunt had the desired effect.

"See ya at #UFC200, @TheNotoriousMMA. Your fairy tale is over. You got nowhere to run now. Time to a rematch, p***y."


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After demolishing the previously unbeaten Aldo in 13 seconds last time out, it was perhaps not surprisingly that sections of the Brazilian media were not overly upset to see the 27-year-old taste defeat for the first time in his UFC career.

In an article entitled ‘McGregor paid dearly for overconfidence and is finished by the great underdog Nate Diaz’s, Brazilian media outlet Estado de Minas believes the Irishman’s downfall was of his own making.

“Conor McGregor ran unnecessary risks,” author Vicente Ribeiro tells readers.

Nate Diaz applies a choke hold to win by submission against Conor McGregor during UFC 196 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena. (Photo by Rey Del Rio/Getty Images)
Nate Diaz applies a choke hold to win by submission against Conor McGregor during UFC 196 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena. (Photo by Rey Del Rio/Getty Images)

“He started very well and gave the impression that he could still knock out in the first round. In the second, however, he was betrayed by overconfidence.”

McGregor told reporters post-fight that he could not understand how Aldo and others were basking in the glory of his loss.

"He [Aldo] had an opportunity to show up here and he didn't... he could be sitting where Nate is sitting right now. He said any time, any place, anywhere and then it wasn't any time, any place, 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."

Conor McGregor after being submitted by Nate Diaz in the MGM Grand Garden Arena, Las Vegas. Photo: Mark J. Rebilas / SPORTSFILE
Conor McGregor after being submitted by Nate Diaz in the MGM Grand Garden Arena, Las Vegas. Photo: Mark J. Rebilas / SPORTSFILE

"I know there's a lot of people celebrating this, celebrating another man's victory. I cannot understand that.

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The American press was left as stunned as their Irish counterparts as Diaz upset the odds, with The Washington Post stating that Diaz flipped “the script on its head” at the MGM Grand.

Conor McGregor reacts following his loss against Nate Diaz during UFC 196 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
Conor McGregor reacts following his loss against Nate Diaz during UFC 196 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

“It’s over. The Irish king has been dethroned,” they wrote.

“Heavy favourite Conor McGregor beat Nate Diaz’s face into an unrecognizable pulp as the first round bled into the second, at some points even smiling and taunting Diaz for the lopsided victory that appeared to be coming.

“But with just under a minute remaining in that second round, McGregor went in for a takedown, and his underdog American opponent countered with an improbable takedown of his own.

“After all the brash talk coming from McGregor this past week, and on the heels of the Irishman’s blistering 15-match win streak, observers were positively stunned to witness a comparatively flabby challenger flip the script on its head.”

CBC Sports in Canada said the defeat of the Irish fighter, along with that of Holly Holm, scuppers the plans UFC bosses had for the forthcoming year, but did praise him for attending the post-fight press conference which “often isn't attended by losing fighters.”

“The loss was McGregor's first since November 2010, and it put a blemish on the loquacious Irish face of the UFC and the best-paid fighter in this rapidly growing sport.”

Swedish paper Svenska Dagbladet hailed the “new King” Diaz following the unexpected result.

“It took Nate Diaz less than two rounds to defeat superstar Conor McGregor for the greatest victory in his life the UFC welterweight meeting at UFC 196.”

The Crumlin native suggested that if he defends his title he would be prepared to take on the winner of Diaz versus Rafael Dos Anjos, who he expects will fight for the lightweight crown next.

Asked whether he had regrets about stepping up to 170lbs, he said: "Absolutely none. I enjoyed the whole experience.

"The fight was a fun fight, he stayed in there, we talked, we were verbal. It was an enjoyable fight. I would have liked to have been more efficient.

"We live and we learn."

His emotions were summed up with one comment.

"I'm simply heartbroken and that's it."

Following a week of trash talk between the two, a stunned McGregor was somewhat humble in defeat in the immediate aftermath.

"I thought I took him in the first round. I'm humble in victory or defeat," he said in the octagon after the fight. "I took a chance to move up a weight and it didn't work.

"I thought I landed with some good punches that got him off," a delighted Diaz said. "I started off slow but I'm faster than anyone later on. My jiu-jitsu is always there for me."

“These things happen. I’ll learn, I’ll grow. It is what it is. I’ll face it like a man, like a champion. I’ll come back and do it again’

A win against Diaz would have left McGregor in the enviable position of being able to take on Robbie Lawler for the welterweight belt, or fighting Rafael dos Anjos for the lightweight title.

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