UFC 196 was recently hosted at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.
The main card saw The Notorious Conor McGregor making an audacious jump up from his usual 145lbs division to 170lbs to face Nate Diaz.
Nate was signed on to the fight at extremely short notice, receiving notification only 11 days prior to the fight, with no training camp the reasons compounded and compounded as to why he was the underdog and the trash talk began - he was said to be the upcoming victim of Conor McGregor's elusive left punch.
Nate seemed unphased by all the media, all the trash-talk and all the doubt.
Nate Diaz beat Conor McGregor in the second round via submission (rear naked choke).
Whether you're a fan of the UFC or either of these fighters is irrelevant, as the there's a number of takeaway lessons from this event that can be applied to any proverbial battle in life.
The Favourite Has Dangerous Expectations
When you expect to win you don't give it your all.
Whether it be in the gym, in business, on the field or in the octagon.
If you expect you're going to remain and top and begin to rest on your previous accomplishments you won't hold your high place for long.
In this case, Conor underestimated Nate (as he was the clear favourite) and expected after landing a few of his jaw breaking left hand blows that he'd come out of the fight unscathed and victorious. Each time Conor loaded up that left hand Nate saw it coming and avoided it, leaving McGregor in a state of panic.
It only works until it doesn't.
This could be seen as a case of hot-hand fallacy...
"The fallacious belief that a person who has experienced success with a random event has a greater chance of further success in additional attempts. The concept has been applied to gambling and sports, such as basketball."
Don't Ever Slack Off
When you're climbing the ranks you're hungry, as Conor McGregor said earlier in his career "A man with something to prove is a dangerous man".
At UFC 196 Nate Diaz was that man. Having been in the UFC for 10 years and receiving nowhere near the amount of exposure or recognition that McGregor has received over the last year alone he set out to prove he was the better fighter.
Conor McGregor trains hard, there's no doubt... but on this occasion he dismissed Nate and his abilities, leading to his downfall.
Stay In Shape So You Don't Have To Get In Shape
Stay in shape.
We're not just talking about physical fitness here, we're talking about keeping ALL areas of your life in shape.
Keep your bank account in shape, keep your mental toughness and discipline in shape and keep your body in shape.
Transforming any of these areas takes time, regardless of how much you try and cram at the last minute there simply can't be any massive progress without mother time.
When Rafael Dos Anjos, Conor McGregor's original opponent for UFC 196 pulled out it was a last minute scramble for Dana White and the UFC matchmakers to find a replacement opponent on 11 days notice. Many of those that wanted to fight McGregor turned down the opportunity when they received the call.
They weren't in shape. They didn't stay ready.
If you're not in shape you miss out, as there's always going to be somewhere there to take the opportunity from you.
Nate Diaz was quoted saying he's always in shape, even on his worst date he trains for at least 2 hours. He was hungry... he did not have the expectations of the crowd, the fans and the media constantly on him, he was the underdog and he had to rise to the occasion and prove himself.
Constant reassurance that you're going to win and that you're at the top can breed laziness and inaction, meanwhile your opponent is training for hours upon hours every day.
When you meet and you expect to win, he'll beat you.
Well done is better than well said.
The first line that came out of Nate Diaz's mouth after leaving The Notorious collapsed on the ground were "I'm not surprised, motherf**kers".
At no point in the lead up to the fight did Nate Diaz make the audacious claims that Conor McGregor did of a round 1 victory via knockout.
Diaz kept it short and vague "we're gonna fight" and "I'm gonna kill or be killed".
In his head he knew he was the superior martial artist, however he let his superior BJJ ground game do it's talking during the fight, not in the lead up at the Press Conference or via Social Media.
Colossal Opportunities Don't Come Often, When They Do Seize Them
There's opportunity all around you, taking action creates your own opportunities.
But, sometimes a colossal opportunity presents itself and provided you've stayed in shape it's time to put it all on the line to seize it.
From $20,000 from his last fight to $500,000 to fight Conor McGregor at UFC 196.
Nate Diaz literally came from nothing and after 10 long years as a professional fighter this was his chance, the opportunity to fight Conor McGregor, earn a truckload or cash and earn the respect and recognition from the crowd and other UFC fighters, that's an opportunity he's been waiting a whole 10 years for.
Diaz knew if he didn't take this opportunity he'd miss out, it would never be presented again.
Nate Diaz went all in and won.
Other fighters declined the fight, watched from the sidelines then kicked themselves when they realized that could've been them that won.