LeBron James has used quotes from UFC featherweight champion Conor McGregor as inspiration before so it’s no surprise he offered a few words of encouragement to him following a loss to Nate Diaz at UFC 196.
McGregor was submitted by Diaz by rear naked choke in the second round of their headline fight in Las Vegas. It was the first loss on McGregor’s UFC record.
It was a big gamble for McGregor, who moved up two weight classes to face Diaz but came up short in his efforts to conquer another division after winning the 145-pound title last December.
"Champions take lumps all the time," James said on Monday. "It doesn’t make you less of a man. It doesn’t make you less of a champion because you take an ‘L’. It’s not about how you react in the good of good, it’s how you come back in the great (wake) of a loss or a defeat, when people say you’re down.
"It doesn't make you no less of a man, doesn't make you no less of a champion because you take a 'L.'" — LeBron James' advice for Conor McGregorvia FOX Sports Ohio
"I think he’s as strong as who he was before that. (Name) any champion that’s went down. Probably the greatest champion ever in Muhammad Ali went down before. So, it doesn’t matter."
James has certainly dealt with his own share of criticism after tough losses in the past including trips to several NBA Championships where he walked away without hoisting the trophy at the end of a series.
In McGregor’s case, James still looks at him as one of the best in the world and no single loss can take that away from him and he’s confident the Irish superstar will climb back to the top of the mountain one day soon.
"We always get caught up in wins and losses," James said. "He will be a champion for the rest of his life and no one can take it away from him. It will always be a part of his resumé. It will always be a part of what goes on with him and he’s determined to continue to prove doubters wrong.
"He’s built that throughout his career and he will continue to do that as I’ve seen some of his quotes after the fight."
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