A huffing and puffing Connor McGregor was standing right in the middle of the ring. Drenched in blood, Connor grabbed Joe Rogan’s mic and shouted “Surprise, surprise M*#ther F#&ker the King is back”.
Five months ago McGregor was an enigma. He was the most exciting and most feared fighter in MMA. He took the decorated Brazilian fighter, Jose Aldo who was undefeated in 18 fights only 13 seconds to dismantled him. In UFC 196 Connor was to face Rafael dos Anjos but Rafael backed out because of injury, and Nate Diaz came in to the picture with only eleven days’ notice. It was more like a pleasant pageantry wherein we already know who will win in that fight. But Diaz refused to follow the script. When a blazing Connor found himself tapping out after a rear-naked choke in the second round. His cloak of invincibility was visibly stripped and exposed.
And so the long road to redemption came last Saturday night. Along the jam-packed crowd of T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, with the world watching the anticipated rematch. McGregor came to the fight ready, he was more surgical and precise on his punches and leg kicks in the early rounds. But The tough hombre Diaz, put on a show with his endless durability and took all Connor’s punches and kicks and came out dominating him in the succeeding rounds. As the clock started ticking and as the round progresses it came out very clear Connor’s kryptonite is Nate’s biggest asset… Stamina.
But when it mattered most and with everything on the line, Connor finally delivered the victory. He willed his mind against fatigue and mental break down. He fought back and fought whatever left in his tank. With his legacy and redemption at stake, a tired and drained Connor fought just enough to get through a stubborn Diaz who put on a great fight when any lesser fighter could have wilted and gave up.
Finally, the king is back after a brief hiatus of his throne.
With a trilogy looming to happen, the self-proclaimed king is holding his throne on a very thin line.
Connor should finally know this valuable lesson… Sitting on a throne is a thousand times harder than winning one.