Ahead of all important Conor McGregor vs Nate Diaz rematch at UFC 202, the Irishman’s coach John Kavanagh explains what went wrong for McGregor in his previous fight and changes they have made to fix them.
The 2nd round submission loss came as a huge surprise not only for the fans but also for the McGregor camp. “The Notorious” completely dominated the 1st round but it seemed as he was totally exhausted in the 2nd round.
Kavanagh took the responsibility on himself for this tremendous loss
Kavanagh said: “Not having to cut weight for the fight against Diaz was supposedly helpful, but in hindsight it was undoubtedly a hindrance. Cutting weight may not be much fun, but it does serve as a reminder that you’re preparing for a fight. It focuses the mind and has been an enormous part of what we’ve been doing. Without that ritual, things were just weird. It left us all in an unusual state of mind. The routine we had established was suddenly absent. The need to cut weight gets the fighter in the zone and lets them know that a fight is on the horizon. If a person is starving, they’re in survival mode. It focuses the mind and taps into the reptilian part of the brain. When Conor is cutting weight, he views his opponent as an obstacle in the way of his next meal. It’s a primal thing. On the other hand, when you’ve eaten a good dinner, all you want to do is relax in front of the TV. The fire in your belly is replaced by food. Being stuffed isn’t conducive to maintaining a competitive mindset.”
“Even for his next welterweight fight, Conor’s diet will be strict. We’ve accepted now that it’s an important element of his preparation, so you can expect him to come in on weigh‐in day at around 165lb. No cheesecakes this time! It will be nutrition geared specifically towards performance.”
“Conor’s loss was a lesson and it’s one that our next wave of fighters, in particular, will be able to learn from. He’s blazing a trail for the younger fighters coming through. They can study his journey and benefit from every step.”
“There were mistakes made and, as the coach, I’ll take ownership of them. We should have travelled out sooner. We should have maintained the same level of meticulous preparation and competitive mindset that we had become accustomed to. We won’t be tucking into desserts, driving around in flashy cars and fucking about. Well, maybe there will still be nice cars, but anything that negatively impacts our usual level of preparation will be knocked on the head. It has to be, and I know it will be, because nobody is more critical of Conor than Conor himself.”
Well, now that he has identified the problem, he has a great chance to amend his mistakes by knocking out Diaz convincingly in “Sin City” this August. Kavanagh might be overlooking one important aspect that Diaz took only had couple of week to prepare for the fight but now he will be totally prepared by having a proper training camp.
Expect to see lot of fireworks on August 20!