Conor McGregor admitted he was “beaten fair and square” by Khabib Nurmagomedov at UFC 229 but stressed he would not repeat his mistakes in any rematch.
McGregor tapped out to the undefeated Russian in the fourth round of their lightweight title bout in Las Vegas on October 6 as he made his return to mixed martial arts after a near two-year hiatus.
The fight was followed by a mass brawl that led to both men receiving temporary suspensions from the Nevada State Athletic Commission.
McGregor, who has spoken of his desire for a rematch in social media posts since the event, broke his silence about the fight itself with a lengthy Instagram post in the early hours of Tuesday morning.
The Irishman did not mention the post-fight melee, but instead broke down the bout round-by-round.
In the message, McGregor wrote: “Although winning the early exchanges in 4, he dips under again and I end up in a bad position with over 3 on the clock. I work to regain position and end up upright, with my back to the fence. A stable position.
“Here however, I made a critical error of abandoning my over hook at this crucial time, exposing the back, and I end up beaten fair and square.
“What can I say? It was a great fight and it was my pleasure.
“I will be back with my confidence high. Fully prepared.
“If it is not the rematch right away, no problem. I will face the next in line.”
The 30-year-old admitted he had underestimated parts of Nurmagomedov’s fighting style and said it would not happen again.
McGregor said: “Round 2 he is running away around the cage before being blessed with a right hand that changed the course of the round, and the fight. It was a nice shot.
“I gave his upright fighting no respect in preparation. No specific stand up spars whatsoever.
Attacking grapplers/wrestlers only. That won’t happen again.”
McGregor went on to say the second round was “the worst round of my fighting career” but felt he had come back strongly by winning the third.
Khabib Nurmagomedov has threatened to quit UFC in a stunning outburst aimed directly at the sport’s governing body.
Nurmagomedov retained his UFC lightweight belt on Saturday by forcing a fourth-round submission by challenger Conor McGregor.
But the undefeated Russian marred his convincing victory by jumping out of the cage immediately afterwards to confront McGregor’s support team and spark a mass brawl.
The Nevada State Athletic Commission has withheld Nurmagomedov’s two million dollar fight purse during its investigation.
UFC president Dana White has hinted at banning Nurmagomedov’s team-mate, fellow Russian and UFC fighter Zubaira Tukhugov, for his part in the incident.
“Why do you have to punish my team, when both teams fought,” Nurmagomedov said in a statement posted on his Instagram account.
“If you say that I started it, then I do not agree, I finished what he had started.
“In any case, punish me, @zubairatukhugov has nothing to do with that.
If you think that I’ll keep silent then you are mistaken. You cancelled Zubaira’s fight and you want to dismiss him just because he hit Conor.
“But don’t forget that it was Conor who had hit my another Brother FIRST, just check the video.
“If you decide to fire him, you should know that you’ll lose me too. We never give up on our brothers in Russia and I will go to the end for my Brother.
“If you still decide to fire him, don’t forget to send me my broken contract, otherwise I’ll break it myself.
“And one more thing, you can keep my money that you are withholding. You are pretty busy with that, I hope it won’t get stuck in your throat. We have defended our honor and this is the most important thing. We intend to go to the end.”
McGregor, meanwhile, has been suspended for one month on medical grounds after tapping out to Nurmagomedov due to a rear-naked choke.
Nurmagomedov said his actions immediately after his win were a result of McGregor’s provocation in the build-up to the fight, which included smashing the window of the Russian’s team bus, which injured several people.
In his Instagram statement, Nurmagomedov added: “Why didn’t you fire anyone when their team attacked the bus and injured a couple of people?
“They could have killed someone there, why no one says anything about insulting my homeland, religion, nation, family?”
Daniel Cormier will make the first defence of his UFC heavyweight title against Derrick Lewis on November 3 at Madison Square Garden.
Light-heavyweight champion Cormier defeated Stipe Miocic in July to add the heavyweight crown to his collection.
Cormier was expected to tackle Brock Lesnar next but has instead been matched with Lewis at UFC 230 in New York.
Lewis produced a stunning knockout of Alexander Volkov at UFC 229 at the weekend, stopping his Russian opponent within the final 20 seconds while almost certainly trailing on the scorecards.