With a Conor McGregor vs. Floyd Mayweather fight nowhere near being signed (despite whatever Floyd keeps telling people), the real future fight for McGregor is a rematch with Nate Diaz. The younger of the Diaz brothers came back from a bad first round to submit McGregor in the second, and ever since then the Irish fighter has been obsessed with proving that the loss was a fluke.
Those outside his camp aren’t so sure. UFC brass was hesitant to sign the rematch until it was clear Conor wouldn’t be denied, and many in the fight community see a second fight going down the same way as the first. But McGregor swears he’s making all the changes necessary to avoid another loss. He recently talked with ESPN and says working with with nutritionist George Lockhart year-round will ensure that he never runs out of gas in the cage again.
“Look at me right now,” McGregor told ESPN. “Fish, red cabbage, asparagus — I’m nowhere near a fight, and I’m on the clock with nutrition.”
“The first eight minutes of the fight was easy. Let’s be honest, I slapped the head off him. Once the gas tank went, that was it. I drowned. He landed that one punch that rang the bell and went, ‘[Gasp,] I’m back!’ He was close to being done. One or two more shots and he would have been wrapped up.”
McGregor says he deviated too much from his typical fight week ritual without a taxing weight cut to worry about.
“Swinging on gymnastic rings on fight week isn’t the best thing. Usually, I wrap myself in bubble wrap and only do fight-specific things, but just because of that weight, no weight cut, I had put it in my head that, ‘I’m free.’ I had energy to burn. I was doing so much bounce footwork, the balls of my feet were burned to a crisp. Looking back, it was ridiculous. I don’t know what I was thinking.”
While the rematch with Diaz has yet to be officially signed, the word is it will go down at 170 pounds, the same weight as their original fight. That weight raised some eyebrows the first time around, given that Diaz is a 155 pound fighter and McGregor is the 145 pound champion. But McGregor wants things to be identical to the first fight, and the UFC isn’t about to fight him again over the weight of his next superfight.
Still, that 170 pound weight class could cause McGregor problems again. Diaz already has one of the best gas tanks in the sport, and the extra weight allows him to take more punishment. It’s just another interesting consideration in the biggest fight of the year, one that we can hopefully look forward to seeing sometime this summer, unlike some other fights that are more smoke than fire.