The Most Literary Description of a UFC Bout You Will Read
To get a sense of the predicament of Conor McGregor as the fight moved into its second round, take the following quotes--"Reality was giving its lesson, its mishmash of scripture and physics" (Ted Hughes), and "Reality is that which, when you stop believing it, doesn't go away" (Philip K. Dick)--and for the word reality substitute the words Nate Diaz. Predictably covered in blood, Diaz remained undevastated by McGregor's punching power, and quite unaffected by his charm--unmagicked, as it were, by the foggy dew. Gristly, obdurate, irreducible, Diaz was still there. McGregor, meanwhile, his whole game having coagulated around that huge repetitive left, was slowing down. Diaz was coming forward, heavily, to chants of "Di-az! Di-az!" from the turning crowd. And he was landing shots. After some of them, McGregor would nervously lick his lips, as if offended by the taste. Then a right-left combination dazed him, staggered him, and Diaz--fully himself at last--dropped his hands and gave McGregor a gory, gum-shield-distorted grin. The middle finger was surely coming. McGregor went for a takedown, scrambling to embrace Diaz's legs. It was a kind of surrender. Diaz, awkward customer turned nemesis, got on top of McGregor and swiftly and expertly worked an arm under his chin, and there ended the lesson: Pride goeth before a rear naked choke.
From "The Penultimate Fighter" by James Parker for The Atlantic, 2016; Photo/Illustration by Zuffa LLC via Getty Images
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