Conor McGregor has never backed down from a fight, but his journey into the welterweight division at UFC 196 did not work out, with Nate Diaz securing a submission victory in the second round Saturday.
UFC 196 marked just the third time McGregor has lost in 22 career fights, with all three coming by submission. Diaz is a renowned submission artist, with 12 of his 19 victories a result of making his opponents surrender.
One of the first comments after McGregor's loss came from the man he was originally supposed to fight:
Rafael dos Anjos @RdosAnjosMMA
Soft!!!!3/6/2016, 6:01:12 AM
Rafael dos Anjos wasn't the only UFC fighter tossing out some hyperbole after the fight, as Jose Aldo got in on the action and seemed to try setting up a main event at UFC 200 in the summer (Warning: Post contains NSFW language):
Jose Aldo Junior @josealdojunior
See ya at #UFC200, @TheNotoriousMMA. Your fairy tale is over. You got nowhere to run now. Time to a rematch, pussy. https://t.co/67fmic8qxG3/6/2016, 6:24:08 AM
In a case of awkward and unfortunate timing, ESPN.com's Darren Rovell pointed out where McGregor's post-fight party will be taking place:
Darren Rovell @darrenrovell
Conor McGregor's after party is scheduled for a nightclub aptly named Surrender https://t.co/FseFKUpair3/6/2016, 6:32:11 AM
Diaz took to Instagram to reveal what his post-fight plans will be, posting the following on his personal account:
UFC fighters weren't the only ones in the sports world to react, as some of the biggest names in sports were quick to tweet about the fight, including Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers, Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald and New York Giants wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr.
Aaron Rodgers @AaronRodgers12
2 incredible fights tonight! Great night @danawhite, cannot wait for the next ppv #UFC1963/6/2016, 6:04:18 AM
Patrick Peterson /P2 @P2
Much respect for @NateDiaz209 for staying ready to go at all times! #UFC1963/6/2016, 6:24:57 AM
I don't know how anybody watches this sport and doesn't think it looks the the most fun you could ever have. #UFC1963/6/2016, 6:04:03 AM
Jimmie Johnson @JimmieJohnson
What an epic night in the @ufc. #UFC1963/6/2016, 6:02:06 AM
While McGregor's loss will be the story because he's the UFC's biggest superstar, Jon Anik of Fox Sports 1 was quick to give credit where it belonged:
UFC 196 was shaping up to be a huge night for mixed martial arts, and it turned out to be a memorable one. Not only did McGregor fall, but Holly Holm also lost to Miesha Tate in the co-main event, prompting Kyle Lewis of SiriusXM's Busted Open to offer a GIF of UFC President Dana White's press conference:
Kyle Lewis @KeepItFiveStar
Dana White's plans for McGregor and Holm after #UFC196 https://t.co/60pmBpQaxp3/6/2016, 6:12:53 AM
Panic may be setting in for some fans who assumed big-business matchups were on the horizon, but Bleacher Report's Ben Axelrod noted this was hardly the first time the UFC has seen a megastar lose:
Per Odds Shark, McGregor was a 1-4 betting favorite Saturday. His loss likely left a lot of people lighter in the wallet, prompting Adam Jacobi of SB Nation's Black Heart Gold Pants to make this pun:
Adam Jacobi @Adam_Jacobi
If you wagered on McGregor tonight, I guess you’re not… Dublin your money. #UFC1963/6/2016, 6:12:10 AM
Sticking with Ireland, PeejeT offered the Crying Jordan meme:
Expanding things to include Ronda Rousey, 30 Second Fights figured out what the updated cover of the UFC's video game will look like:
With McGregor's star on the rise coming into UFC 196, especially after his knockout win over Jose Aldo at UFC 194, Chachi Gonzales of America's Best Dance Crew fame offered this assessment:
Bleacher Report went with a greater television touchstone to describe the myriad of emotions everyone went through while watching UFC 196:
This will go down as a loss on McGregor's resume, but it was hardly the worst defeat in MMA history. He had never fought in the 170-pound weight class in his career. It's been more than three years since he last fought at lightweight, so this was a new task.
McGregor didn't have to take it on, but he did. He didn't get the result he was looking for. The UFC will learn from Saturday's bout and put him in position to fight at a weight he's accustomed to in the future. This is not the end of Notorious' reign on top.
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