The reigning featherweight champion and recent welterweight Irishman, tatted-up like a tapestry, speaks about as ferociously as he lands punches. But the post-bout to his crippling loss to Nate Diaz last night wasn't his typical cocky series of digs at opponents. Instead, it was something humble, something changed, something optimistic. It's almost like, in defeat, he became a fully rounded out human before our eyes.
McGregor's move to a higher weight class was was a lesson in physics, learning about how to pack energy and stamina into the extra bulk. And Diaz certainly administered that lesson—he maneuvered around McGregor with surefooted extension, and made a case for his toughness, as blood dripped from his face to the mat, but otherwise looked cognizant, on-balance at the final bell.
McGregor, instead of shrugging off the loss and talking shit, turned a bit more inward in the above interview, thinking about what the whole scenario means—what adding weight can do, whether or not he was comfortable taking down someone bigger than he's used to. He even went so far as to say, "I panicked a little bit," adding "he played with his energy well." It's a rare moment to see a superstar fighter humbled like that.
But that didn't stop him from slipping in a little shit talk about Jose Aldo in at the end. Ah yes. There's the McGregor we know and love.