Conor McGregor’s Loss Was A Good Thing
At UFC 196, as many people undoubtedly know now, Conor McGregor suffered his first defeat in the UFC against #5 ranked 155lb fighter, Nate Diaz. Immediately after the fight people came out of the woodwork to slam McGregor for it which is understandable because he is famous not just for his abilities as a fighter, but also for the incredibly amount of trash talk in the build-up to his fights. I’m going to say it now though: this loss will ultimately be a positive with the right pivots on his part.
He can’t necessarily go back to talking about how he’ll smash people at any weight or try to present himself as this unstoppable force of nature, because we saw him get stopped at 170lbs by Diaz. I think that fight showed that he can’t just go up in weight and fight like he always does. With what was probably an extra 15lbs of muscle, he tried to fight the same way he does at 145lbs and got exhausted after trying to put Nate away in the first round. He fought dumb, but he also knows this and has admitted it in his post-fight interviews. It’s the post-fight interviews that is really telling me that he’ll be able to turn it into a positive. In defeat he dropped the bravado and dropped the character to show who he really is: thoughtful, introspective, and humble.
Rumor has it that if he had won against Diaz, he was going to either call out Georges St. Pierre or Robbie Lawler. Both of those fights would’ve been ridiculous for him and he probably would’ve lost far worse in those fights than he did against Nate. It also would’ve shown that he was someone who always needs to outdo what he did last. It’s admirable, but even it had worked, it would’ve tied up numerous divisions and been kind of a mess. Instead he got halted with Nate Diaz, was shown where the ceiling is at least for now, and knows it’s time to go back and focus on clearing the featherweight division and defending his belt. Both Jose Aldo and Franky Edgar deserve shots at the champion, and as champion it’s Conor’s duty to grant them those shots. He needs to go back down to his real weight and defend his title. It’s imperative for him to be next seen in the cage with Aldo or Edgar. The way Conor spins his public persona in the meantime could put him and his brand in the same category as a guy like Tom Brady, where it doesn’t matter if he wins or loses, he’s Tom Brady. In order to do that though Conor does need to get back in that win column. It’ll be interesting to see what the coming months have in store.