Conor McGregor has lost three fights in his professional MMA career - all of them have been by submission. The latest of those was against Nate Diaz at UFC 196, his first defeat in the promotion.
Prior to that, his last defeat was to Joe Duffy in 2010. It was a loss which would lead McGregor to claim years later that he would rather die than tap out again.
That claim garnered the Dubliner much criticism after March 5th, especially because in the co-main event that night, Holly Holm drifted into unconsciousness rather than tap out to Miesha Tate's rear naked choke - the same method which McGregor submitted not long after.
It really was bullshit criticism. McGregor had nothing to gain by losing consciousness. Diaz had the choke locked in, the featherweight champion's energy was spent - there was no escape.
Speaking to MMAJunkie.com, Diaz said that McGregor was right to tap out and that the situation was vastly different to the one experienced by Holly Holm.
If you’ve got to tap out, you’ve got to tap out. I think Holly, she thought she was maybe going to get out. She had already gotten out of one (choke earlier in the fight) and she thought, ‘I’m not quitting.’ McGregor, he was (expletive) done. All the way done. It’s all right. He had to tap out because there was no getting out of that. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with tapping out.
In the history of the UFC, only one fighter has more submissions than Diaz - Royce Gracie. That's what McGregor was dealing with.
Diaz also had a little bit of advice for the Irishman - don't get caught in a position which allows the submission. That's exactly what McGregor did by playing into the American's hands at UFC 196.
Rocked by a number of shots from Diaz, and low on energy, McGregor attempted a takedown. Moments later, Diaz had the choke locked in.
It’s a fight against the best fighters in the world; you’ve got to tap to that shit. You ain’t getting out of it. You can tap out, or you can go to sleep. It’s fucking the same shit. You tap out if you’re caught. The thing is, that’s what I think, is don’t get caught.
Picture credit: Mark J. Rebilas / SPORTSFILE