Nate Diaz believes Floyd Mayweather showed the blueprint to beat Conor McGregor by letting him “gas” out.
McGregor has fought Diaz twice during his UFC career which both came in 2016 where he was first defeated by the Stockton native, before avenging the defeat later that year. The Irishman then opted to accept a boxing clash with ring legend Floyd Mayweather in the following year which became the second highest-selling pay-per-view in combat sports history.
Despite starting brightly, McGregor was simply outclassed by Mayweather who put his foot on the accelerator to close the show in the tenth round. Diaz believes his former two-time rival was helped to skip the line by fighting Mayweather before he suffered another defeat to Khabib Nurmagomedov in 2018.
“Floyd Mayweather went and showed the blueprint to beat him, let him punch himself out and in the 10th round he beat his a**,” Diaz said of McGregor’s stoppage loss to Mayweather five years ago during an interview on the MMA Hour. “I did that right before him. Then he went and got choked out by Khabib. If he would’ve finished the trilogy with me, he would’ve learned how to not get choked. If he would have finished the trilogy with me, he would have learned how to not punch himself out.
“He could have got better but he didn’t. He jumped the line and skipped the queue and they helped him by fighting Mayweather. No one has helped me the whole time, I have been relevant in the sport the whole time. I am still relevant in the sport now without even trying, I haven’t even had a fight.”
McGregor has seen his form decline dramatically ever since taking the clash with Mayweather, having won just once in his last four UFC outings. The Irishman returned to action following his defeats against Mayweather and Nurmagomedov with victory over Donald Cerrone.
However, he lost to rival Dustin Poirier in a rematch afterwards followed by another loss to ‘The Diamond’ just months later in a trilogy where he broke his leg in the opening round. It was viewed by many fans that McGregor saw his form decline after switching his focus to boxing training.
Fans have also frequently suggested that McGregor has a cardio problem in his fights that sees opponents try to survive the early storm before coming on strong later in the fight. He could face an even tougher ask on his UFC return after gaining weight and ballooning to 190lb in an impressive new physique. His weight increase has seen the superstar target a switch to 170lb where he could try to become the promotion’s first three-time champion.
However, UFC lightweight Mason Jones believes McGregor should have retired from MMA after losing in his maiden boxing appearance. “I think [ Conor McGregor ] did well,” Jones told SportsKeeda MMA. “I just don’t understand why he came back into MMA after the whole Mayweather stuff. Like, when you make into that realm, live a lifestyle and enjoy.”