Retired UFC superstar Conor McGregor made a bold claim about his first UFC loss. The 32-year-old explained via an Instagram story on Monday that his submission loss to Nate Diaz back in 2016 at UFC 196 was largely due to McGregor not wanting to follow through on a “horribly nasty” kick to his opponent’s leg.
“Fight would’ve been stopped no doubt tho,” McGregor said. “I’d the angle on the leg and it primed to snap. I bottled it but it felt too nasty. Even for me.”
You can see a picture of the kick as well as McGregor’s full explanation below.
So Conor let Nate win?! 🤔 pic.twitter.com/ezpzkxyJXY
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McGregor’s full text from Instagram:
“I actually chose not to follow thru with this kick in this exact moment. The sensation felt horrible and I backed out of following thru with it. Fight would’ve been stopped no doubt tho. I’d the angle on the leg and it primed to snap. I bottled it but it felt too nasty. Even for me. Fast forward few minutes later I’m on the deck getting strangled. Mad game. I’m still not for making these kicks illegal tho,” McGregor said. “You’ve got to protect your angles and your footing and that’s it. Deal with it. They are horribly nasty kicks tho.”
Conor McGregor Explains: ‘I Backed Out’
McGregor revealed that in his way of thinking the first Diaz fight hung in the balance in that single moment, though he didn’t know it at the time.
“I actually chose not to follow thru with this kick in this exact moment,” Mcgregor said. “The sensation felt horrible and I backed out of following thru with it.”
Diaz eventually scored the second-round submission via rear-naked choke. McGregor said the sequence before that happened, in which the Irishman basically decided not to break Diaz’s leg with that one kick, is part of what makes MMA so special.
“Fast forward few minutes later I’m on the deck getting strangled,” McGregor said. “Mad game.”
Conor McGregor Doesn’t Want “Horribly Nasty” Kick Outlawed by UFC
Moreover, while the first-ever UFC “champ champ” said he chose not to employ that kick at full force in the fight, the fighter still believes the kick is an important part of an MMA fighter’s arsenal.
On top of that, McGregor doesn’t want that kind of kick or similar ones to become illegal anytime soon either.
“I’m still not for making these kicks illegal tho,” McGregor said. “You’ve got to protect your angles and your footing and that’s it. Deal with it.”
But his opinion on the kick remains unchanged even in his remembrance of how it cost him the megafight victory against Diaz.
“They are horribly nasty kicks tho,” McGregor said.
McGregor defeated Diaz in the rematch five months later at UFC 202 via majority decision.
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