I don’t watch UFC regularly. I knew who Conor McGregor was because he’s a superstar in the sport, but for those who don’t know, Conor is the UFC featherweight champion and until UFC 196, he was also undefeated.

Conor lost his fight against Nate Diaz in an odd turn of events which ended with Conor in a choke hold and tapping out. It was a great fight, but what was really great was Conor’s speech afterwards. Here are 3 lessons I learned from his speech that gave me even more respect for this great fighter:

“I’m Humble in Victory or Defeat”

After his loss, I admired the fact he was really calm and collected. He said something that stuck with me, “I’m humble in victory or defeat,” and that’s exactly how we should be in our lives.

Things happen. Sure, we will get knocked down, we will lose the big game, we won’t get the promotion at work, whatever happens, it’s not IF it will happen, it’s WHEN, and when it does, we must remain humble.

Being humble in victory or defeat will say a lot about you as a person to those around you. Don’t be known as that person who brags when things are going good and the whiner when things aren’t. Be known as the person who is humble all the time and gracious in victory and defeat.

No Excuses

Something else he said was this:

“These things happen, I took a chance, and it didn’t work out”

For a guy who’s trained for countless hours and poured his life into his effort, how could he have let this go that easily?

To be honest, I’m terrible about this. I try really hard to let things go, but I can always find a reason to blame something or someone instead. I can make some great excuses, can’t you?

We can’t have that mindset; this mindset is absolutely devastating. We have to remember that life happens. God is in control, and we aren’t.
That last part is the hardest for all of us I think. We aren’t in control. We can fight God tooth and nail to be in control, but ultimately, we are not in charge of anything.

If you watch a fight replay, you can see Conor actually seemed to think he was in control of this fight. He even said he believed he took round 1, and most people would 100% agree with him. The next round, things went wrong, he messed up, and down he went.

So, the next time you want to make an excuse, remember these words: “these things happen, I took a chance, and it didn’t work out.” There’s nothing you can do but learn and move on.

Lessons Learned

What most people don’t know is that Conor actually fought up a class, meaning that he had to put on weight to fight, 30 pounds to be precise. That’s always difficult for a fighter, but Conor didn’t use that as an excuse.

When asked about his key takeaway, here’s what he said:


“I was inefficient with my energy”

When you fight in a smaller weight class like McGregor does, it’s usually a very fast paced fight compared to the larger weight classes are a little more power than speed. He learned if he’s going to be fighting in a heavier class, he better learn to balance his power and speed a little better to be more “efficient.”

If you’re inefficient, try something new… or not.

OK he didn’t say anything about this, except he took a chance and it didn’t work out, but this is something I definitely took out of the fight and the speech.
It’s OK to slow down. Connor had a commanding lead in the match and continued to push, hard.
It’s OK to back up and take a bigger picture of the situation. Sometimes, playing defense is just as effective.
It’s OK to not make a desperate decision when you’re getting beat on. Here we saw a champion make a poor decision. He was tired, he was getting hit – HARD, and he made a desperate move. He attempted a take down rather than continuing the fist fight. What happened from the desperate move was ultimately a choke hold to end the match

Do you know anyone like that? I know I do, I’ve even been that person from time to time. I’ve wanted to try something new, and impress the boss or someone else in my life so I’ve stayed constantly moving, doing new things, and pretty soon I couldn’t breathe from being so busy.

There’s a reason God told us to remember the Sabbath. There’s a reason why we are told to be still. God knows we need rest, we need to be efficient with our energy! Like McGregor, we’re often times very inefficient and wearing ourselves out. When we do that, we open ourselves up to get hit even harder by the enemy.

Instead of learning our lesson the first time, trusting God, and taking a step back to be still, we jump right into something else WE think will fix our current situation. What that does, in the end, is leave us wide open for a new attack and ultimately, a choke hold so tight we don’t feel like we can ever escape.

If you’re feeling like you’re getting destroyed by the enemy, just remember that bad things do happen and when they do remember the lessons learned by Connor McGregor:

  • Stay humble in victory or defeat.
  • Stop making excuses no matter what happens.
  • Take the time to stop, look at the big picture, and find the lessons we can learn from our mistakes (there are some, I guarantee it). Sometimes, making a decision when you’re exhausted and getting pounded will just make for worse decisions.

To watch the post interview yourself, check it out here on YouTube.

As always, have a blessed day!

Parker Waldrop

Parker Waldrop has taken every opportunity in his career to train & develop others. With over 15 years of training & development experience, he has trained hundreds of employees, leaders, and students in a variety of areas of expertise. With a heart to please God, Parker has found his calling of helping develop others and help them follow their passion.