Conor McGregor releases statement on UFC 229 Khabib Nurmagomedov loss

Former UFC featherweight and lightweight champion Conor McGregor shared his thoughts on what he believe went wrong at UFC 229 as he lost his title fight to Khabib Nurmagomedov.

McGregor missed the post-fight press conference, and took to Instagram to finally impart his thoughts on what went down at UFC 229.

While the Dubliner didn’t mention anything of the scenes which unfolded immediately after his defeat, McGregor was honest in his reflection.

McGregor conceded that Nurmagomedov won the first two rounds, the latter of which he described as being the worst of his career. “The Notorious” even acknowledged Nurmagomedov’s second-round knockdown coming from a “nice shot.”

He also mentioned making a “critical error” in the fourth round, which ultimately saw him defeated by a neck crank submission as his foe Nurmagomedov retained his UFC lightweight title.

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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 ❤

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“Round 4. My recovery was not where it could have been here,” McGregor stated as he analysed the moments which led to his defeat.

“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,” he continues. “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.”

While McGregor has clearly stated his intentions of fighting Nurmagomedov again, mapping out what he would change in an attempt to change the outcome, he concedes he is happy to fight a challenger in the meantime.