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Conor McGregor releases lengthy statement on loss to Khabib Nurmagomedov

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Conor McGregor went into great detail as to what he believes went wrong at UFC 229 in a social media post Monday night.

The former UFC lightweight champion and the sport’s biggest star conceded Nurmagomedov won the first and seconds rounds — the latter he called the worst of his career — and he chronicled a “critical error” he made in the fourth, which led to Nurmagomedov finishing with a neck crank submission to retain the 155-pound belt.

“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,” McGregor wrote. “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.”

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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 ❤

A post shared by Conor McGregor Official (@thenotoriousmma) on

To close out his statement, McGregor gives fans some insight into his view of the future. He said he is willing to not accept a second fight with Nurmagomedov immediately.

“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. See you soon my fighting fans I love you all.”

McGregor, 30, wrote that it was the Nurmagomedov punch in the second round that changed the fight. “The Notorious” said he believed he might have lost the first round from a sport standpoint, though not from a fighting standpoint, because all Nurmagomedov did was control. But the second round was different.

McGregor said he did not prepare at all for Nurmagomedov’s striking — “I gave his upright fighting no respect” — and he admitted that was a mistake.

“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,” McGregor said. “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 [sic] 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.”

Overall, McGregor described the encounter, his first trip to the Octagon in two years, a “great fight.”

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