AP Photo/John Locher
- Conor McGregor has analysed his UFC 229 loss to Khabib Nurmagomedov in a lengthy Instagram post.
- The Irish striker claims that "from a fighting standpoint" he won the first and third round.
- McGregor also admitted that many mistakes were made in the build-up to UFC 229, as well as in the actual fight itself.
- Regardless, the 30-year-old vowed to return to the sport and said he would be happy to fight "the next in line" if he could not rematch Nurmagomedov straight away.
Conor McGregor has accepted that he made many mistakes in the build-up to UFC 229, and in the actual fight with Khabib Nurmagomedov on October 6.
McGregor was dominated at UFC 229. He was dropped with a thudding right hand in the second round and submitted with a tight neck crank in the fourth.
In the aftermath of the defeat, McGregor campaigned for a rematch against Nurmagomedov — though not everybody in the industry believed it would be a good idea.
Now, two weeks on, the Irish striker has published a self-reflecting analysis of the bout — and his own future — on his official Instagram account.
McGregor appears to believe he won round one and round three, but admits that many mistakes were made in the build-up to UFC 229 and in the actual fight itself. He also says he has no problem fighting "the next in line" should he be denied an immediate rematch.
"I believe from a sport standpoint, round one was his," McGregor wrote. He said Nurmagomedov asserted "top position against the fence" but gave "zero position advancement or damage inflicted." This led McGregor to assert that "from a fight standpoint, the first round is mine" because he landed "actual shots" and showed "a willingness to engage."
Nurmagomedov scored a knockdown in the second round, but according to McGregor he spent the first part of the round "running away around the cage." McGregor credits Nurmagomedov for landing "a nice shot" but said he "bounced back up to engage instantly."
McGregor then conceded that his preparation for the bout was poor, as his coaching team introduced "no specific stand-up spars whatsoever" during the training camp. Instead, McGregor wrote that he sparred against attacking grapplers and wrestlers only. He also had little confidence in his own attacking grappling and was "too defense-minded" — something his coach John Kavanagh freely admitted on a recent Joe Rogan Exprience podcast.
He went on to say that the second round of UFC 229 was the worst round of his entire fighting career, but that he came back and won the third round because he was "willing to engage."
Ultimately, he was submitted in the fourth round because of inadequate recovery. His recuperating powers were not where they could have been, and McGregor shoulders the blame for the loss.
"I made a critical error of abandoning my over hook at this crucial time, exposing the back, and I end up beaten fair and square," he said.
See McGregor's Instagram post in its entirety right here:
The Nurmagomedov bout was McGregor's first UFC fight in almost two years, and his first in an octagon since his 10th round boxing rules loss to Floyd Mayweather in 2017.
Since confirming he would return to mixed martial arts and fight at UFC 229, UFC has announced a new six-fight deal with McGregor.
The Nurmagomedov loss was McGregor's first competition in that new contract, which means he has another five fights with the company at least.
McGregor promised he would be back with his "confidence high" and "fully prepared."
He previously intimated that he "won the battle" and that the war against Nurmagomedov was not yet over, but he may have to wait for the rematch as the Russian wrestler could end up fighting prominent lightweight fighter Tony Ferguson next.
If that were to happen, McGregor would not be too disheartened, though.
He said said: "If it is not the rematch right away, no problem. I will face the next in line."
According to UFC lightweight rankings, that could be the world number three Dustin Poirier, the number four Kevin Lee, or even the number nine Nate Diaz, one of McGregor's historic rivals.
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