Conor McGregor releases emotional statement following Mayweather defeat
If we're being honest with ourselves, did anyone really expect the fight between Conor McGregor and Floyd Mayweather Jr. to culminate in any other conclusion than the one that inevitably occurred.
The Irishman by no means disgraced himself in the ring, holding his own as best he could for the better part of 10 rounds before the fight was eventually stopped.
In reality, there was no real loser here; both fighters made a truly astronomical sum of money for their efforts, Floyd Mayweather walks away with his unblemished record in boxing intact - now at 50 wins with 0 losses, surpassing Rocky Marciano - while Conor McGregor has bolstered his cache as one of the most bankable, intriguing stars in sport even further.
Naturally, as a competitor, the immediate aftermath makes loss hard to take, and the Irishman was clearly downcast, and unusually humble, in his comments in the wake of the bout.
Now, having had more time to reflect on the events of The Money Fight, McGregor has issued a long, emotional and reflective statement on Instagram. It reads;
"Just coming back around after a whirlwind couple of days.
"Thank you to all the fans for the support of the fight and the event! Without your support we as fighters are nothing so I thank you all! Thank you to my team of coaches and training partners!
"I had an amazing team and It truly was an amazing and enjoyable camp, and honestly I feel with just a little change in certain areas of the prep, we could have built the engine for 12 full rounds under stress, and got the better result on the night. Getting to 12 rounds alone in practice was always the challenge in this camp. We started slowly getting to the 12 and decreasing the stress in the rounds the closer it got to 12.
"I think for the time we had, 10 weeks in camp, it had to be done this way. If I began with a loaded 12 rounds under much stress I would have only hit a brick wall and lost progress as a result and potentially not made the fight. A little more time and we could have made the 12 cleanly, while under more stress, and made it thru the later rounds in the actual fight. I feel every decision we made at each given time was the correct decision, and I am proud of everyone of my team for what we done in the short time that we done it.
"30 minutes was the longest I have fought in a ring or cage or anywhere. Surpassing my previous time of 25 minutes. I am happy for the experience and happy to take all these great lessons with me and implement them into my camp going forward.
Another day another lesson!
"Congrats to Floyd on a well fought match. Very experienced and methodical in his work. I wish him well in retirement. He is a heck of a boxer. His experience, his patience and his endurance won him this fight hands down. I always told him he was not a fighter but a boxer. But sharing the ring with him he is certainly a solid fighter. Strong in the clinch. Great understanding of frames and head position. He has some very strong tools he could bring into an MMA game for sure.
"Here is a toast of whiskey to everyone involved in this event and everyone who enjoyed it!
"Thank you to you all! Onto the next one!"
Classy words from McGregor, who will now be looking forward to future bouts, presumably back in the more familiar surrounds of the UFC. On that front, a bout with Nate Diaz to complete a trilogy of contests looks likely.