Conor McGregor and Holly Holm had a rough weekend after both UFC fighters went into highly-touted matches and earned shocking defeats.
Ahead of the match, McGregor was as close to a sure-thing as many fighters ever get. Few believed that Nate Diaz would take the win, but take it he did after grabbing McGregor from behind in a choke hold that forced him to tap out. Afterward, social media blew up as fans tweeted about the shocking finale, including supporters of McGregor’s. David Meyler, who plays for football team Republic of Ireland, took to Twitter to show some love in the midst of several nasty tweets that came not just from Diaz supporters, but former fans.
— David Meyler (@DavidMeyler7) March 6, 2016
— Stephanie Pelley (@StephaniePelley) March 6, 2016
Despite the staggering loss, McGregor accepted the defeat with grace, saying he will learn from the mistakes he made and move on.
“I took a chance going up to 170. I thought I took him in the first round. I was inefficient with my energy. These things happen. I learn, I grow. I’ll face it like a man, like a champion.”
His statement hit home with many UFC fans, who also took to social media to praise Conor for being so humble despite his notorious cockiness prior to the fight.
— TJ Hamilton (@TjHamiltonMusic) March 6, 2016
@TheNotoriousMMA brilliantly humble in defeat! A loss does not make him a bad fighter, it just sets him up for a bigger comeback
— Carl Frampton (@RealCFrampton) March 6, 2016
— Ashley (@Ash_DC_) March 6, 2016
The match was initially supposed to be between McGregor and Rafael Dos Anjos, but an injury caused Dos Anjos to bow out at the last minute. Conor McGregor moved up two weight classes in order to fight Diaz.
Diaz said he wasn’t surprised by the outcome after he was named winner of the match and his hand was raised in victory.
“I’m always in good shape; I peak as I go. I thought I landed with some good punches that got him off. I started off slow but I’m faster than anyone later on. My jiu-jitsu is always there for me,” Diaz said.
As for Conor, it’s unclear what his next move will be. However, he said in an interview last week that he would be interested to see what might transpire in a match between him and now-retired boxer Floyd Mayweather Jr. McGregor agreed that it would be a “billion dollar fight,” but no negotiations have reportedly been made just yet.
“I’m open to discussions, come at me. But I hold the key and it’s me who holds the key to the fight game. I am open minded, I am open to discussion, I love competition, I love fighting. It would be nice to make that fight if the fans were interested and wanted to see it,” Conor McGregor said.
McGregor made an appearance on Conan recently and demonstrated a kick he wanted to try out on Diaz: a capoeira move that he tried out on the talk show host. While he didn’t actually kick Conan, the UFC star’s foot did come dangerously close to his head. Luckily for Conan, Conor exercised great self-control and kept things from getting ugly in front of the studio audience.
[Photo by Steve Marcus/Getty Images]