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18th Nov 2016

Joe Rogan’s revelation about first Nate Diaz fight only increases our respect for Conor McGregor

"Here's a little thing that a lot of people don't even know"

Patrick McCarry

The few and the blessed enter MMA contests feeling 100%. Most of the time, fighters are far from it.

Conor McGregor insisted, after his UFC 205 victory, that he was “brand new”. He even claimed to have somehow punch his injured right hand back into action.

McGregor hand smack

Speaking to Ariel Helwani earlier this week, John Kavanagh offered further insight to the knock McGregor carried into his lightweight bout:

“I have a thing where I always move the joints in his fingers around, before a fight, but I avoided those two fingers because I didn’t want to inflame them.

“I think, 48 hours out, when he was doing the open work-out with Owen Roddy, he hit it then and hurt it. He jarred it on Owen’s body when they were grappling.”

Following UFC 202, McGregor went for scans on the foot he banged up leg-kicking Nate Diaz. It was discovered that he had went into the fight with a pre-existing hairline fracture that no-one had previously spotted and that had healed itself.

However, all of that is topped by Joe Rogan’s revelation about how bad a shape McGregor was in just a fortnight before his first fight with Diaz, at UFC 196. Rogan said:

“He took the Diaz fight on short notice and, by the way, after a staph infection.

“Here’s a little thing that a lot of people don’t even know. He had a pretty significant staph infection. He was on antibiotics until about two weeks before the fight. If you think that doesn’t drain your gas tank, you’ve never had a staph infection and you never had to take antibiotics… they’re brutal on your body.”

Rogan, who has suffered from staph infection [a build-up of noxious bacteria in the stomach] before, says it left him light-headed and weak. Sage Northcutt and Luke Rockhold, in the past year, have spoken out about the devastating impact staph had on their body.

“I thought, ‘Imagine fighting two weeks after that’ because there’s no way you’d peak in time,” Rogan added.

Remarkable stuff. And commendable, too, that McGregor never leaned on his illness as an excuse.