If you’ve followed Conor McGregor’s career, one thing you’ve come to realize is that he always preaches being humble in victory or defeat.
After suffering his first UFC loss Saturday against Nate Diaz in the main event of UFC 196, that principle was put to the test and McGregor passed with flying colours. The Irishman was as classy as can be following the welterweight fight in which he was submitted late in the second round.
“Humble in victory, humble in defeat #UFC196”
McGregor skyrocketed to superstardom on the combination of phenomenal knockout wins and the way in which he can control a room with his quick-wittedness. His personality is beloved by droves of fight fans but on the flip side he has rubbed many fighters the wrong way.
UFC lightweight champion Rafael Dos Anjos, whom McGregor was originally scheduled to fight at UFC 196 before the Brazilian pulled out with a broken foot, had warned McGregor about moving up in weight.
“That’s what weight divisions are made for, a bigger man can take heavier shots and keep going,” Dos Anjos wrote on his Facebook page Sunday. “A featherweight can’t think that he can go up and kill everybody. I’m not rejoicing in somebody’s defeat but when you start think you’re God, God shows you what you really are.”
Former featherweight champion Jose Aldo, whom McGregor knocked out in 13 seconds at UFC 194 in December, also took a shot at McGregor following his loss to Diaz.
“See ya at #UFC200, @TheNotoriousMMA,” Aldo tweeted. “Your fairy tale is over. You got nowhere to run now. Time to a rematch, [expletive].”
On Sunday, McGregor released the following statement on his social media channels and responded to his critics.
“I stormed in and put it all on the line. I took a shot and missed.
I will never apologize for taking a shot.
I’ll take this loss like a man. I will not shy away from it. I will not change who I am. If another champion goes up 2 weights let me know.
If your tired of me talking money, take a nap.
I’ll still be here when you wake up with the highest PPV and the gate. Still talking multi 7’s.
Thank you to the true support and [expletive] the hate that came out of the woodwork. I love it all. Its still steak for breakfast.
I’ve been here many times in my life in some form or another. I’ll eat it all and come back stronger.
Aldo you are a [expletive]. Dos anjos you are a [expletive].
When the history books are written, I showed up. You showed up on Twitter.
To the fans! Never ever shy away from challenges. Never run from adversity. Face yourself head on.
Nate I will see you again.”
It’s unclear what’s next for McGregor, however the 27-year-old said at the post-fight press conference he thinks he will drop back down to 145 pounds for his next bout and defend his featherweight title — either in a rematch with Aldo or against top contender Frankie Edgar.