Saturday 10 December 2016

'He fought the wrong guy at the wrong weight' - Mike Tyson on Conor McGregor's UFC 196 loss

Tom Rooney

Published 13/03/2016 | 16:07

Mike Tyson has given his verdict on Conor McGregor's defeat to Nate Diaz at UFC 196
Mike Tyson has given his verdict on Conor McGregor's defeat to Nate Diaz at UFC 196

Mike Tyson has said that Conor McGregor may have been blinkered by the allure of unprecedented glory when deciding to jump up two weight classes for his bout with Nate Diaz.

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It’s been just over a week since Diaz, an overwhelming underdog, sent shockwaves across the sporting landscape with his second round submission of McGregor at UFC 196.

Of course, it was a contest arranged on just 11 days’ notice after McGregor’s original opponent, lightweight champion Rafael Dos Anjos, was forced to withdraw with a foot injury.

Initially, the Dubliner was moving up from featherweight in a bid to become the first man ever to concurrently hold titles in two different weight classes.

And, although varying versions of the story emerged, the featherweight champion agreed to face Diaz at welterweight (170lbs.) in order to secure the Californian’s participation in the main event showdown.

In reality though, had Diaz been afforded even a week's more preparation, the fight would have been contested at lightweight (155lbs.).

When taking the scales for UFC 196, ‘The Notorious’ weighed in at 168lbs, and looked far healthier than he has ever done after enduring the onerous task of making the featherweight limit (145lbs.).

As such, it was thought his powers of endurance would be at their highest. However, after a stunning first round, during which he left Diaz a bloody mess, the SBG export began to tire.

Diaz landed a pair of cracking left hands that wobbled McGregor, who then shot in for an ill-advised take down, and it wasn’t long before he was tapping to an airtight rear-naked choke with under a minute remaining in the second stanza. .

According to Tyson, who was speaking on the Jim Rome Show, it was a case of too much too soon for the 27-year-old. The former heavyweight champion of the world also said that such harsh lessons tend to prove beneficial.

"My personal opinion, I think he went up too fast in weight, and I think he fought the wrong guy in that weight. It's just something that happens in fighting, and we should all learn from our mistakes.

"That's what fighting is all about, learning from our mistakes, improving our mistakes, and improving ourselves. Not giving up."

McGregor admitted in the aftermath of the loss that he had not been ‘efficient’ with his energy and said he would return to the featherweight division, where a rematch with Jose Aldo or a much anticipated clash with Frankie Edgar are on the horizon.

McGregor has taken to social media over the last week to assure the world he is not miring in his first defeat for almost six years and, although it is yet to be confirmed, the Crumlin man is likely to fight at UFC 200 on July 9.

I don't say hard luck, I say well done. It was a heck of a fight. A heck of a cheque. And a heck of a party afterwards. #YoungSuccess

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

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