McGregor, the once seemingly invincible Irishman destined to hold UFC titles in multiple weight classes, tapped to a rear-naked choke applied by Nate Diaz on Saturday night. The finish came at 4:12 of the second round, in a welterweight bout McGregor appeared to be in control of early.
Diaz (19-10), who took the fight on 11 days’ notice after McGregor’s original opponent, Rafael dos Anjos, withdrew because of a broken foot, reacted as only a Diaz could.
“I’m not surprised m—–f——,” Diaz said. “There’s a new king in this … now.”
McGregor (19-3), whose 15-fight winning streak was snapped, remains the UFC’s featherweight champion despite the loss. The bout was contested at 170 pounds because Diaz had virtually no time to cut weight. Originally, McGregor was attempting to move to the 155-pound division to challenge dos Anjos for the lightweight title.
McGregor blamed the loss, his first since 2010, on inefficiency. All three of his professional losses have come via submission.
“I took the chance in going up to 170,” McGregor said. “I was inefficient with my energy. I’m humbled in victory and defeat. He took the fight on short notice and done the job. He was efficient. I was not. These things happen. I’ll learn, and I’ll grow. I’ll face it like a man.”
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