Conor McGregor lost his ostentatious professional boxing debut, a multi-million-dollar spectacle with Floyd Mayweather, but unlike past losses in mixed martial arts, the Irishman isn’t obsessed with getting a rematch.
That is a good thing. Mayweather returned to retirement following the bout, and this time, it appears it’s going to stick.
The same couldn’t be said for McGregor’s previous loss. McGregor has tasted defeat just three times in his 24-bout professional MMA career, but when he lost to late-replacement Nate Diaz at UFC 196 in March of 2016, it was instantly an obsession to get back into the Octagon and avenge the loss.
McGregor and Diaz squared off again less than six months later, where the then-featherweight champion took a majority decision over Diaz in their welterweight rematch.
Though he was TKO’d by Mayweather in the tenth round of their boxing spectacle, McGregor’s coach, John Kavanagh, admits that McGregor doesn’t have the same desire to erase the loss to Mayweather as he did Diaz.
“I think it’s different,” Kavanagh told Express Sport. “After the Nate loss, it was an obsession for the Nate Diaz fight.
“From five minutes of being inside the Octagon, the ball had already started rolling in ensuring his next fight was going to be against Nate. I don’t see that same level of interest in the Mayweather rematch.”
To be clear, it’s not that McGregor wouldn’t fight Mayweather again. He surely would. He is reported to have earned somewhere in the neighborhood of $100 million for their first meeting. The potential payday, coupled with McGregor’s belief that he would win a rematch, would certainly have him chomping at the bit if a rematch were to come to fruition.
“He’s retired. I’m not going to start calling him out of retirement. I’m going to leave him to it. If it happens, maybe it will, who knows — I would beat him no doubt,” McGregor said in a recent BBC interview.
But, as Kavangh said, McGregor isn’t obsessing over Mayweather.
“Not that he would turn it down if it was offered. But certainly not in the same way that he was for the Diaz fight.”