ByRyan Matsunaga, writer at
MMA fan, BJJ enthusiast, and Executive Publisher at Creators Media.
Ryan Matsunaga

That's according to Conor McGregor's manager Audie Attar, who relayed a story that paints the featherweight champ in an almost maniacal light ahead of his UFC 200 fight.

Conor McGregor seemed nearly unstoppable going into his UFC 196 bout with Nate Diaz. McGregor was on a 15-fight winning streak, was undefeated in the UFC, and had just captured the featherweight belt, knocking out MMA icon Jose Aldo in just 13 seconds.

To put it bluntly, "Mystic Mac" had made a career of promising big, and delivering.

That is, until UFC 196. The event was supposed to mark a historic milestone in UFC history: the first time an active champion challenged for the title in another weight class, potentially leading to one fighter holding two UFC belts at the same time.

Unfortunately, disaster struck when two weeks out from the fight, lightweight champ Rafael dos Anjos was injured, throwing out the possibility of a cross-divisional title fight. Nate Diaz swooped in on late notice to save the UFC 196 main event, and the fight was switched to a 170 lbs bout, to account for how little time Diaz would've had to cut weight.

Nate Diaz went into the fight as a massive underdog, and many predicted that McGregor would simply roll over him. And for the first round, that's exactly what it looked like.

Going into the second though, McGregor was visibly fatigued, and the momentum shifted quickly and dramatically, ending with McGregor submitting to a rear naked choke for his first UFC defeat.

Many wondered what McGregor would do next. Would he go back to featherweight to defend his title? Make another run at the lightweight division? Take some time off to consider his options?

Nope. In perhaps a move we perhaps should've seen coming, McGregor simply could not accept the loss, and has booked an immediate rematch with Nate Diaz to take place at UFC 196.

According to his manager, McGregor is single-minded about this fight. He even cancelled a movie role in a Vin Diesel project to make sure he is 100% focused on training.

He's so focused in fact, that it almost sounds a bit scary. Immediately after the Diaz fight, McGregor was already on his phone, watching the replay over and over again. Attar estimates McGregor watched it "20 times" in a row before the press conference even started.

"Obsessed," Attar describes of McGregor's mental state, a word that seems to be echoed by everyone around the featherweight champ, from his coaching staff to UFC president Dana White.

"For him, that loss in itself, because of how he was performing until it went the other way is yet again fueled by his own self-belief system, confidence and desire to want to continue to push the envelope with his athletic ability and his skills, no matter who is in front of him," Attar added. "It happens to be the guy who beat him. He wants to put the same canvas up and paint a different picture for the audience to watch. And that's what it's all about, really."

Conor McGregor will get a chance to "paint" that picture at UFC 200 this summer, when he and Nate Diaz will throw down once again at welterweight.


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