For ten days ahead of UFC 196, McGregor proclaimed that he would separate Nate Diaz from his consciousness. However, when the tide turned against him and he was unable to live up to his knockout proclamation during the fight, many believed that McGregor showed uncharacteristic mental weakness.
According to former UFC title challenger Chael Sonnen, McGregor mentally cracked when he realized that he was not going to be able to steamroll Diaz as he did his previous opponents.
Rafael dos Anjos questions McGregor's heart
The UFC lightweight champion shares his opinion on last Saturday's UFC 196 headliner.
"From a historical standpoint -- mentally -- Conor McGregor fell apart," Sonnen told ESPN (h/t MMAMania.com). "He cracked. It was just like watching Mike Tyson fold against Evander Holyfield and all the guys that have come before and after. Listen, when you stand up to a bully he will fade every time. Conor McGregor is a bully. Now, that's the mental side."
McGregor, who handled the post-fight press conference with poise and humility, revealed that his mistake was one of efficiency and an underestimation of Diaz's ability to withstand damage.
The Irishman is expected to return to the featherweight division, where he will defend his title against either Jose Aldo or Frankie Edgar. He did not rule out a potential return to welterweight, or a move up to lightweight to challenge for the title there.