McGregor not scaling back on ‘verbal warfare’

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There is no doubt that Conor McGregor is a master when it comes to the art of trash talking, and while he may have taken it too far at times, he has no intention of cutting back on it.

McGregor’s gift of the gab is unmatched in the UFC, so much so that no other fighter can get into an opponent’s head quite like the Irishman can.

In fact, Dustin Poirier, who fought McGregor at UFC 178 in September 2014, admitted that the 27-year-old played so many mind games with him ahead of their bout that it affected his performance and caused him to change the way he approached his fights.

Poirier’s confession is a prime example of how well McGregor uses his trash talking ability to his advantage. With that in mind, the reigning UFC featherweight champion has insisted that he will continue to speak his mind for as long as he continues to fight.

“Verbal warfare is another form of warfare, so I look to engage in that 100 per cent,” McGregor told ESPN. “It’s just part of the game. It’s part of the business.”

McGregor is currently preparing for his rematch with Nate Diaz at UFC 202 on August 20 and the duo will be present at a press conference in Las Vegas on Thursday, where the Irishman will look to get under Diaz’s skin by launching yet another verbal tirade against him.

While McGregor may be a better trash talker than Diaz, the 31-year-old has the upper hand over McGregor in the Octagon as he ended the Dublin native’s unbeaten run in the UFC by making him submit in the second round of their welterweight bout at UFC 196 in March.

McGregor was initially supposed to face Rafael dos Anjos, but the lightweight champion pulled out of the fight after breaking his foot.

McGregor admitted that he learnt a lot from the loss, the most important lesson being on his diet. The featherweight champion was supposed to meet Dos Anjos in a lightweight fight at 155 pounds, but once Diaz was brought in as the Brazilian’s replacement and the fight was changed to a welterweight bout at 170 pounds, the Irishman had to drastically change his diet, which he feels was the reason why he found himself on the losing end.

“I am forever, forever learning. I think in the last fight, I mismanaged my weight,” McGregor admitted. “I was working with my nutritionist for the lightweight title fight to make 155 pounds. I was on track. Nine days out from the fight, I’m in phenomenal condition, and then the weight got changed [to 170] and all of a sudden I’m 10 pounds below and I’m like, I don’t need this diet because I need to eat up to the weight.

“So I threw that out. I disengaged from that. I started eating two steaks a day, two breakfasts. I’d have a coffee and some cookies with that, please, also. I’d be in the gym six to eight hours on fight week. I’ve got bags of energy. I can do this all day. But it came back and bit me in the a**. My body went into shock. I overtrained and then mismanaged the weight, and it came back to bite me on the a**.”

Having learned about his diet the hard way, McGregor has become a lot more health conscious as he doesn’t want to make the same mistake again.

“My nutrition is another thing that I’ve become obsessed with lately. Right now I’m following a strict nutrition plan, and I eat on the clock,” McGregor said. “My body is feeling good. It’s not depleting me.”