Conor McGregor suffered a fourth-round submission loss to lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov at UFC 229. It has been eight months and still the focus is more on the aftermath when both fighters’ respective camps brawled than the fight itself. However, there has been a focus-shift since McGregor did an interview shortly after he announced his “retirement” in March with Tony Robbins.

In response to a question regarding his preparedness for the fight against Nurmagomedov, Conor McGregor pointed at his head coach John Kavanagh for the strategy that he believes cost him the victory. Conor McGregor said:

“My whole approach in that camp, the injuries and the non-commitment, the game plan and even the tactics were…I’m an attacker. And my attack defends. But in this camp, for some reason, the entire focus was defense, defense. So in every round of the training, I would have my back against the fence. I would have my back on the floor. I would always put myself in a vulnerable position. As the camp went on, I just became defensive, defensive. That’s never what I did. It still irritates me to this day because the training partners I had… I trained with heavy people, 90-plus kilos. When we were wrestling, I broke my foot. It’s like a horse. Like a f—ing horse. I’ve got another American (who is a) Brazilian jiu-jitsu world champion that trains with me and was 200 pounds. They’re big, big boys.”

McGregor further added:

“But I was always on the defensive with them. Since the fight, I’ve gone back to train with them and went with my internal dialogue, not the external dialogue. The dialogue that I can’t grapple with this man because he’s a Russian Sambo guy and he’s wrestled bears since he was a kid and all this bullsh-t. That’s external. I let the external infiltrate the internal filter into the fight. But after the fight, I went back and trained with these people, and I attacked. I mauled them.”

Conor McGregor has been in headlines more for his out of the cage antics since he lost to Nurmagomedov at UFC 229.  He was arrested in March for smashing a cell phone in Miami and is also under investigation for an alleged sexual assault back in Ireland.

He was rumored for a possible fight with Donald Cerrone earlier this year but talks stalled out. McGregor then retired for the second time in March, which he admits to Robbins was a ploy to get what he wants from the UFC. But the match Conor McGregor desires is a rematch with Nurmagomedov, as he feels there’s unfinished business between the two.

“At the end of the day, I landed the final blow that night right on his brother’s eye socket,” McGregor said. “So at the end of the day, the match didn’t go my way; the fight went my way. And trust me when I tell you, Tony, this war is not over. If this fight does not happen again, if it does not get reset, it’s on them. They’re running away. I’m here for the fight, here for the rematch.

“I’m just here waiting to continue to go and see what we can get with this situation with the UFC and seek them to get this fight again and let’s go again. That’s where my head is.”


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