Conor McGregor names the ‘toughest’ opponent he has ever fought

Conor McGregor has named the ‘toughest’ opponent he has ever fought as Nate Diaz, with whom he traded wins in 2016.

McGregor’s professional record as a mixed martial artist stands at 22-6, with Diaz having been responsible for one of those defeats – alongside Khabib Nurmagomedov, Dustin Poirier (twice), Joseph Duffy and Artemij Sitenkov. And Diaz was the toughest of them all, according to McGregor.

When asked, “toughest opponent you’ve ever faced?” in a Twitter Q&A on Wednesday (5 October), the Irishman simply replied: “Nate.”

Diaz submitted the former dual-weight UFC champion in the second round of their first fight, in March 2016, after stepping in for Rafael dos Anjos on short notice.

McGregor then outpointed the American over five gruelling rounds in August of that year, to avenge what was his only loss in the UFC at the time.

Since then, the 34-year-old has been submitted by heated rival Nurmagomedov and twice lost to Poirier, whom McGregor previously knocked out in 2014.

Seven years after their featherweight clash, Poirier knocked out McGregor in a lightweight rematch – becoming the first man to beat the Irishman via KO/TKO. Six months later, in July 2021, Poirier defeated McGregor again when the latter suffered a broken leg at the end of the first round.

McGregor has not fought since but is expected to be back in the Octagon in early 2023.