This past Saturday, like many people, I went out with some friends to watch UFC 196. What was supposed to be an easy night for two champions turned out to be a huge upset for both challengers and two champions that looked unstoppable were knocked down a peg. Conor McGregor, the UFC Featherweight Champion moved up two weight classes to face resident UFC bad boy, Nate Diaz. McGregor was beaten in the second round.
The second upset of the night came in the fight before McGregor vs. Diaz. Holly Holm, the UFC Woman’s Bantamweight Champion was dethroned by Meisha Tate. Another shocker and two of the UFC’s biggest stars defeated.
Now, I’m not here to write a recap, but instead would like to take a bit of time out to applaud both of the losers on how they handled the loss and what we could learn from them. Holly Holm admitted post-fight that she thought she was up on the scorecards and became complacent, allowing Meisha Tate, a competitor that does not give up a chance to win the fight. Admitting a mistake right after it cost you everything you worked for in your career is not an easy thing to do. She made no excuses and simply said she will work harder and be back on top, congratulating the new champion. Her opponent Meisha Tate can also teach a life lesson. She never gave up. Everyone in the arena that night said Meisha was clearly down 3-1 on the scorecard. She knew this, but instead of giving up, she gave it her all to keep going, sticking to what she knows, jui jitsu, and ended up taking home the belt after years of defeats. She never gave up. No matter how bad the odds were against her.
Featherweight Champion, Conor McGregor also showed great character in defeat. After the fight he said in an interview, “I will never shy away from a challenge. I will never shy away from defeat”. Later in a post on Instagram, he wrote, “I've been here many times in my life in some form or another. I'll eat it all and come back stronger”. We take bumps and bruises in life, sometimes we’re knocked down, but just like Conor and Holly, we get back up and try again.
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