McGregor was a much heavier underdog, especially considering he was facing Mayweather in his first-ever professional boxing match. Still, McGregor ended up landing numerous shots on Mayweather, while also winning rounds against arguably one of the best boxers of all time.
While McGregor had his moments in the fight, the 29-year old Irishman was filled with a slight sense of regret afterward. He described one particular punch early on that caught Mayweather, but had it landed a split second later, he believes it would have been a knockout.
“I threw one uppercut and it just hit him here [in the chest] but if it was a millisecond earlier, it would have just hit him [in the chin] and that would have been all she wrote,” McGregor said post fight when speaking to FOX. “But I’ll tell you what, he took the smacks well and stayed composed. I could see a little bit of panic in his face early on, but he absorbed them and stayed in it, so fair play to him.”
(Video courtesy of UFC on FOX | Viewing may be limited by broadcast rights restrictions)
McGregor earned Mayweather’s respect during those early rounds when he landed far more punches than the former multi-division champion, but admittedly the exertion of energy came back to bite him.
McGregor says that he spent a big part of his training camp just trying to adjust to a 12-round fight, which is something he had never experienced before in his career.
Ultimately, conditioning still caught McGregor in the end as he ran out of steam in the ninth round before Mayweather finished the fight in the tenth.
“Yeah because I’m thinking of 12 rounds, of course,” McGregor said about his conditioning. “I could get through the first six [rounds] handy, but after the sixth, I’m like, right, I’ve got another six to go, so we’ve always had that iffy little dose after the sixth, but then I’d see the finish line again in 10, 11, 12 or even 11 and 12 and I’d get that second wind again.
“Of course, it was a 12 rounder; I’m not used to it. That was what the focus of the camp was to adjust to 12 three-minute rounds.”
When the fight was over, McGregor embraced Mayweather and the fighters shared a few words after a historic event that may end up as the most lucrative bout in combat sports history.
McGregor gave Mayweather respect for his performance but also noted that the boxer turned his back to him several times during the fight and if that had been mixed martial arts, the contest would have been over in a hurry.
“I just said fair play to you, I thought I had you the early rounds, but your composure through and through. You’re a composed man and you got the win, I’ve got nothing but respect. Then I was like, but when I got your back them times, it would have been over there and then,” McGregor said.
“That was what killed me I think because I blew energy taking his back and then I’m at his back and the referee separates us.”