Wednesday 22 November 2017

Fighter heartbroken - but 'defeat is a learning curve', says uncle

One Direction’s Niall Horan. Photo: Getty
One Direction’s Niall Horan. Photo: Getty

Ryan Nugent

Conor McGregor will bounce back from adversity after his shock UFC defeat in the early hours of yesterday morning, according to the fighter's uncle.

The Notorious was hot favourite to defeat American Diaz, but was stunningly submitted by a chokehold in the second round of the fight at the MGM, Las Vegas.

It was McGregor's first defeat in the UFC since November 2010. However, his uncle, Gary McGregor, told the Irish Independent that his nephew would learn from the defeat and it would serve as a wake-up call.

"Conor will bounce back, no problem," Gary said. "It's the nature of the game and he knows you can't win every fight.

"I think he will learn from this and all in all, it wasn't a title fight so it will be a wake-up call for him to hone his skills."

Gary believes the rise in weight class definitely had an effect on McGregor's energy levels. "I think Conor took it as a challenge and I really think he was close to achieving his goal in the first round," he said.

McGregor is now expected to drop down from the 170lb weight class at which he had been fighting to defend his featherweight title at UFC 200 in July.

It will be his fourth time fighting in Las Vegas in the past 12 months, with his next opponent expected to be former champion, Jose Aldo or number one contender, Frankie Edgar.

The Notorious was devastated by the loss.

"I'm simply heartbroken and that's it," he said. "I enjoyed the whole experience - it was an enjoyable fight.

"I felt that it was simply that he was efficient with his energy and that I was inefficient."

At the fight were Oscar winner Leonardo DiCaprio, singer Bruno Mars and members of the Red Hot Chili Peppers. One Direction's Niall Horan was also ringside and says he sees McGregor coming back even better.

"Sad to see Conor like that. He's a champion and will be back stronger than ever. Sounds cliché, but it is McGregor we're talking about," he said.

McGregor showed up with a bruised face to an after-party in a nightclub in Las Vegas.

Irish Independent

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