Conor McGregor has obviously thought about his fight with Nate Diaz at UFC 196. And he fully believes that he can avenge the second-round submission loss at UFC 202 on Aug. 20 in Las Vegas.
The brash Irishman spoke Saturday at an event to promote his coach John Kavanagh's book, "Win or Learn," (h/t David O'Gorman) and went into vivid detail about the finishing sequence from March and how he thinks the next fight will go.
"I'm feeling very confident in myself that I'll go in and I'll toy with this man," McGregor said. "Eight minutes of the fight, I was toying with him. That fadeaway left hand that he caught me with, my senses were still there. It was almost like a fatigue thing that my balance was gone.
"I always look back and question and say, what would have happened if I would have just weathered the storm? He was one or two shots being done, I feel. I feel when that left hand hit, he got this burst of energy. You can see it in his corner, they went insane. It was like they won the lotto. Then I took a couple shots and I shot [for a takedown] and I ended up in that guillotine and then it was just downhill from there. I wonder what would have happened if I just kept my hands up, I kept circling, took the smacks and survived. Eventually his energy that he gained from that left-hand shot would have dipped again and then round three would have began. There's a lot of questions and stuff I'm confident I can improve next time. I'm going in here confident that I will get this rematch back."
McGregor, the UFC's featherweight champion, also said a fluctuation in weight played a major part in his performance against Diaz. "The Notorious" was preparing for a fight with Rafael dos Anjos for the lightweight title at UFC 196, so he expected to fight at 155 pounds. When dos Anjos got hurt and Diaz stepped in, McGregor offered to do it at 170 pounds, because Diaz was negotiating the weight.
So, when the fight changed 11 days out, McGregor had to start eating more to make up for that weight differential.
"My body almost went into shock and I was stuffing my face and eating everything," he said.
McGregor added: "I was almost like, I don't have to make weight, I can train all day long. So we were doing 6-to-8-hour sessions on fight week, swinging on gymnastic rings. Looking back, it wasn't the best idea and it came back and bit me in the ass. ... I was a little bit heavy in the midsection, I was overtrained, my diet wasn't great and it came back and bit me in the ass. But as Coach always says, we win or we learn, and I have learned and I am focused. I'm staying on my nutrition. I'm very fight-orientated. I'm not swinging on gymnastic rings too much and I certainly won't be doing it on fight week."
McGregor (19-3) has brought in Brazilian jiu-jitsu specialist Dillon Danis, a Marcelo Garcia black belt, and boxers who mimic Diaz's style for this camp. That kind of thing is not something McGregor, 27, has ever done previously. Not even before facing dos Anjos.
"I didn't actually bring in any southpaws -- not one," McGregor said. "I didn't spar with any southpaws, because the reason we don't really care what the opponent is doing is because they always pull out, every damn time. But this time I know Nate is gonna show up. I know I'm gonna be facing a tall, lanky southpaw with a decent lead hand. And that's it. And now I have brought in tall, lanky southpaws with a solid lead hand, guys with solid jiu-jitsu credentials and John is overlooking every session, managing every session."