Last Tuesday marked the three-year anniversary of UFC 196: “McGregor vs. Diaz,” featuring the headlining pay-per-view (PPV) fight between Conor McGregor and the now-wealthy Nate Diaz.
It was originally expected to be McGregor vs. Rafael dos Anjos for the 155-pound title, but the Brazilian suffered an untimely injury and was forced to withdraw. Since Nate Diaz was on a boat shooting tequila somewhere in the tropics, “Notorious” agreed to a welterweight affair to keep everyone on weight.
The power-punching Irishman was undefeated inside the Octagon, already the king of the featherweight division, and a -450 favorite to topple the Stockton slugger. Unfortunately, McGregor emptied his gas tank too soon, opening himself up to the vaunted ground assault of Diaz.
The final result was a submission loss via rear-naked choke.
What a sequence!— Conor McGregor (@TheNotoriousMMA) March 6, 2019
One of the craziest fights ever.
Also the birth of McGregor FAST!
The rematch was voted the greatest fight in UFC history.
My last one was a small bit wild also haha
I love this game.
This is my 3rd level of income at this point.
I just do it because I love it. https://t.co/hSjAr3moE7
“It’s fascinating to me watching that loss back,” McGregor wrote on Twitter. “Then watching the comeback. We can always come back! Anyone can do something once. It’s can you do it twice is the question. That’s why I doubled up on the belts every time. Any fool can do it once.”
With McGregor feeling reflective, he also took a look at his Floyd Mayweather loss that occurred the following year. Unlike the Diaz fight, “Notorious” was expected to lose and may have gained some fans (and some “sweet science” respect) by hanging in there as long as he did.
I spoiled it with the rush right hook here. The angle was made. He was in the dirt. I just had to set correctly into my feet and fire. Rushing the right hook I lost balance on my back hand.— Conor McGregor (@TheNotoriousMMA) March 6, 2019
Great boxing fight!
A rematch will be interesting no doubt. https://t.co/bYVWhOjKO4
A rematch has been teased for Mayweather’s oft-rumored UFC debut.
Coming off a submission loss to Khabib Nurmagomedov last October, no question McGregor is going to be a bit more choosy when it comes to his next opponent. Let’s just hope UFC has the foresight to make it a main event.