Conor McGregor believes media distractions and Holly Holm's style were the key reasons why Ronda Rousey fell to her first career defeat in Melbourne, Australia, last month.
The UFC's biggest star was convincingly beaten in a second-round stoppage by the former boxing champion in one of the most surprising upsets in MMA history, as can be seen below:
Arguably the sport's second-biggest draw, McGregor is set to take on Jose Aldo at UFC 194 on Dec. 12, and he clearly learned something from the American's downfall, per MMA Fighting (via Ben Kiely of Sports Joe):
If I was to take away something from Ronda's (loss) is maybe push everything away.
I don't know her situation, but maybe from looking from where I was at she was doing a little bit too much on the media side. That coupled with personal things that I maybe don't know about maybe could have hampered her training a little bit, maybe could have hampered her mind. Then the particular style of opponent in Holly may have made her a little bit too emotionally invested.
It's important just to still the mind, calm it. Make everything smaller than it is. That's maybe what I would take from that.
Rousey was the overwhelming favourite heading into her Nov. 15 clash with Holm having gone 12 fights unbeaten prior to the UFC 193 meeting and having beaten her previous four opponents in the first round.
Per the Associated Press' Greg Beacham (via the Las Vegas Sun), Ireland's McGregor is the current betting favourite for his clash with Aldo, despite the Brazilian being the current UFC featherweight champion and No. 1 in the pound-for-pound rankings—The Notorious is 12th.
McGregor believes his superior psychological strength gives him the edge over Aldo, per Beacham: "When you're the favorite here [in the mind], the universe shapes itself. I'm entering this contest heavily favored in my mind, and he's entering the contest as a big underdog in his mind. That's why you're seeing what you're seeing on the (betting) lines."
Aldo, 29, and the 27-year-old McGregor were originally supposed to fight at UFC 189 back in July, but the Brazilian pulled out because of a rib injury.
McGregor subsequently fought and beat Chad Mendes and was awarded an interim belt.
The Dubliner has been a huge hit in the UFC since signing for the company in 2013. He has won each of his six fights in the Octagon and become a huge star.
His stated aim is "to bring in half a billion dollars in money to this company per show, similar to the Mayweather-Pacquiao fight," and he believes he is only getting better, per Beacham.
But he faces a huge challenge against Aldo, and he will be desperate to avoid the same humiliation as Rousey did against Holm.
It seems he has learned from her mistakes, but he still has to prove himself on Dec. 12 in Las Vegas.