Conor McGregor Gives Detailed Breakdown of His Performance Against Khabib Nurmagomedov

October 23, 2018

Two weeks have passed since Conor McGregor suffered a fourth round submission defeat to Khabib Nurmagomedov at UFC 229 and now he’s given a detailed breakdown of what went wrong.

McGregor was competing in mixed martial arts for the first time in nearly two years after becoming a two-division champion back in 2016 while holding the UFC lightweight and featherweight titles at the same time.

Upon his return, McGregor was matched up with the undefeated Russian, who has been an absolute wrecking machine since first arriving in the UFC.

While McGregor did manage to cost Nurmagomedov the first round of his entire UFC career, the reigning lightweight champion ultimately dominated the majority of the fight before wrapping up the submission in the fourth round.

Looking back, McGregor doesn’t seem to believe he really lost the first round in a grappling heavy exchange with Nurmagomedov but he says the second round is where the tide really turned for his opponent.

“Thoughts on my last fight,” McGregor wrote on Instagram. “Round 1. I believe from a sport standpoint, round 1 was his. Top position against the fence. Zero position advancement or damage inflicted. But top position. From a fight standpoint the first round is mine. Actual shots landed and a willingness to engage. Straight left early. Knee to the head on the low shot. Elbows in any and all tie up scenarios. Opponent just holding the legs against the fence for almost the entire round.

“Round 2 he is running away around the cage before being blessed with a right hand that changed the course of the round, and the fight. It was a nice shot. After the shot I bounced back up to engage instantly, but again he dipped under to disengage. That is the sport and it was a smart move that led to a dominant round, so no issue. Well played. If I stay switched on and give his stand up even a little more respect, that right hand never gets close and we are talking completely different now.”

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Thoughts on my last fight. Round 1. I believe from a sport standpoint, round 1 was his. Top position against the fence. Zero position advancement or damage inflicted. But top position. From a fight standpoint the first round is mine. Actual shots landed and a willingness to engage. Straight left early. Knee to the head on the low shot. Elbows in any and all tie up scenarios. Opponent just holding the legs against the fence for almost the entire round. Round 2 he is running away around the cage before being blessed with a right hand that changed the course of the round, and the fight. It was a nice shot. After the shot I bounced back up to engage instantly, but again he dipped under to disengage. That is the sport and it was a smart move that led to a dominant round, so no issue. Well played. If I stay switched on and give his stand up even a little more respect, that right hand never gets close and we are talking completely different now. I gave his upright fighting no respect in preparation. No specific stand up spars whatsoever. Attacking grapplers/wrestlers only. That won’t happen again. I also gave my attacking grappling no respect. To defense minded. Lessons. Listen to nobody but yourself on your skill set. You are the master of your own universe. I am the master of this. I must take my own advice. Round 3. After the worst round of my fighting career, I come back and win this round. Again walking forward, walking him down, and willing to engage. Round 4. My recovery was not where it could have been here. That is my fault. Although winning the early exchanges in 4, he dips under again and I end up in a bad position with over 3 on the clock. I work to regain position and end up upright, with my back to the fence. A stable position. Here however, I made a critical error of abandoning my over hook at this crucial time, exposing the back, and I end up beaten fair and square. What can I say? It was a great fight and it was my pleasure. I will be back with my confidence high. Fully prepared. If it is not the rematch right away, no problem. I will face the next in line. It’s all me always, anyway. See you soon my fighting fans I love you all ❤

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McGregor admitted in his lengthy post that he gave no respect to Nurmagomedov’s striking game and spent no time in camp preparing for it either.

He also echoed a statement that his head coach John Kavanagh gave just days after the fight where he said they spent too much time in camp preparing defensively without adding much offense to their strategy.

So much effort was put into stopping Nurmagomedov’s grappling game that McGregor didn’t really address his own offensive weapons on the ground and he paid for it.

“I gave his upright fighting no respect in preparation,” McGregor said. “No specific stand-up spars whatsoever. Attacking grapplers/wrestlers only. That won’t happen again. I also gave my attacking grappling no respect. Too defense minded.

“Lessons. Listen to nobody but yourself on your skill set. You are the master of your own universe. I am the master of this. I must take my own advice.”

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McGregor was able to turn things around in the third round, which is where all three judges gave him the nod. While it wasn’t an offensive onslaught from McGregor, he was able to keep the fight standing and finally put to work some of his striking acumen.

“Round 3. After the worst round of my fighting career, I come back and win this round,” McGregor said. “Again walking forward, walking him down, and willing to engage.”

Unfortunately, McGregor’s success was short-lived as he was running out of gas in the fourth round and once Nurmagomedov took him to the ground, it was only a matter of time until the fight ended.

“Round 4. My recovery was not where it could have been here,” McGregor said. “That is my fault. Although winning the early exchanges in 4, he dips under again and I end up in a bad position with over 3 on the clock. I work to regain position and end up upright, with my back to the fence. A stable position. Here however, I made a critical error of abandoning my over hook at this crucial time, exposing the back, and I end up beaten fair and square.

“What can I say? It was a great fight and it was my pleasure. I will be back with my confidence high. Fully prepared.”

In the aftermath of his defeat, UFC president Dana White has said that McGregor has requested an immediate rematch with Nurmagomedov but no decision has been made regarding what comes next for either fighter.

Based on his latest post, McGregor isn’t losing any sleep over the rematch with Nurmagomedov, although it sounds like he expects to face him again whether that’s the next fight or somewhere down the road.

“If it is not the rematch right away, no problem,” McGregor said. “I will face the next in line. It’s all me always, anyway.”