Conor McGregor says ref stopped fight too soon after loss to Floyd Mayweather

In the biggest boxing event of the year, Floyd Mayweather made good on his promise to end the fight before it went the distance, defeating Conor McGregor by TKO in the tenth round.

To his credit, McGregor outperformed expectations, attacking Mayweather early in the fight and winning the first three rounds in the eyes of many. But as the fight moved to the later rounds, McGregor began to look gassed, struggling to defend himself and inviting Mayweather to do some damage. After a flurry of action in rounds eight and nine from Mayweather, the undefeated fighter put together the winning combination and the referee was forced to step in and stop the fight.

But in the moments after the bell rang and Mayweather was declared the winner, McGregor appeared to have his wits about him, and felt confident that he could have gone the distance.

"Where was the final two rounds?" McGregor asked, in comments reported by ESPN's Arash Markazi, "Let me walk back to my corner and compose myself."

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LAS VEGAS, NV - AUGUST 26: Conor McGregor prepares for his fight in the locker room prior to his super welterweight boxing match against Floyd Mayweather Jr. on August 26, 2017 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Brandon Magnus/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images )
Boxing - Floyd Mayweather Jr. vs Conor McGregor - Las Vegas, USA - August 26, 2017 Conor McGregor makes his entrance before the fight REUTERS/Steve Marcus
Boxing - Floyd Mayweather Jr. vs Conor McGregor - Las Vegas, USA - August 26, 2017 Floyd Mayweather Jr. before the fight REUTERS/Steve Marcus
Boxing - Floyd Mayweather Jr. vs Conor McGregor - Las Vegas, USA - August 26, 2017 Floyd Mayweather Jr. is spoken to by Floyd Mayweather Sr. in his corner in between rounds REUTERS/Steve Marcus
Boxing - Floyd Mayweather Jr. vs Conor McGregor - Las Vegas, USA - August 26, 2017 Conor McGregor in action with Floyd Mayweather Jr. REUTERS/Steve Marcus
Boxing - Floyd Mayweather Jr. vs Conor McGregor - Las Vegas, USA - August 26, 2017 Floyd Mayweather Jr. in action with Conor McGregor REUTERS/Steve Marcus
Boxing - Floyd Mayweather Jr. vs Conor McGregor - Las Vegas, USA - August 26, 2017 Conor McGregor in action with Floyd Mayweather Jr. REUTERS/Steve Marcus
Boxing - Floyd Mayweather Jr. vs Conor McGregor - Las Vegas, USA - August 26, 2017 Conor McGregor in action with Floyd Mayweather Jr. REUTERS/Steve Marcus
Aug 26, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Floyd Mayweather Jr. lands a hit against Conor McGregor during their boxing match at the at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
Boxing - Floyd Mayweather Jr. vs Conor McGregor - Las Vegas, USA - August 26, 2017 Floyd Mayweather Jr. in action with Conor McGregor REUTERS/Steve Marcus
Boxing - Floyd Mayweather Jr. vs Conor McGregor - Las Vegas, USA - August 26, 2017 Floyd Mayweather Jr. in action with Conor McGregor REUTERS/Steve Marcus
Boxing - Floyd Mayweather Jr. vs Conor McGregor - Las Vegas, USA - August 26, 2017 Conor McGregor in action with Floyd Mayweather Jr. REUTERS/Steve Marcus
Boxing - Floyd Mayweather Jr. vs Conor McGregor - Las Vegas, USA - August 26, 2017 Floyd Mayweather Jr. in action with Conor McGregor REUTERS/Steve Marcus
Aug 26, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Floyd Mayweather Jr. lands a hit against Conor McGregor during a boxing match at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
Aug 26, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Floyd Mayweather Jr. lands a hit on Conor McGregor during a boxing match at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
Aug 26, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Conor McGregor moves in with a hit against Floyd Mayweather Jr. during a boxing match at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
Boxing - Floyd Mayweather Jr. vs Conor McGregor - Las Vegas, USA - August 26, 2017 Floyd Mayweather Jr. in action with Conor McGregor before referee Robert Byrd stops McGregor and the fight REUTERS/Steve Marcus
Aug 26, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Floyd Mayweather Jr. lands a hit against Conor McGregor during the tenth round at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
Aug 26, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Floyd Mayweather Jr. moves in against Conor McGregor during a boxing match at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
Aug 26, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Floyd Mayweather Jr. (black trunks) and Conor McGregor (white trunks) box during the seventh round of their boxing match at T-Mobile Arena. Mayweather won via tenth round TKO. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports
Aug 26, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Floyd Mayweather Jr. (black trunks) and Conor McGregor (white trunks) box during the seventh round of their boxing match at T-Mobile Arena. Mayweather won via tenth round TKO. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports
Undefeated boxer Floyd Mayweather Jr. of the U.S. poses with the WBC "Money Belt" during post-fight news conference at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada, U.S. August 27, 2017. REUTERS/Steve Marcus
UFC lightweight champion Conor McGregor of Ireland arrives for a post-fight news conference at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada, U.S. August 26, 2017. REUTERS/Steve Marcus
LAS VEGAS, NV - AUGUST 26: Conor McGregor prepares to walk to the ring prior to his super welterweight boxing match against Floyd Mayweather Jr. on August 26, 2017 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Brandon Magnus/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images )
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"I thought it was close though and I thought it was a bit of an early stoppage. I was just a little fatigued. He was just a lot more composed with his shots."

McGregor added that he would've liked to hit the mat before having the fight called on him, saying "When you're in here in the squared circle, everything is different. Let the man put me down, that's fatigue, that's not damage."

While frustrated with the stoppage, McGregor gave praise to his undefeated opponent. "I have to give it to him, that's what 50 pro fights will do for you."

We don't yet know what McGregor's fighting future will hold, but if he makes a return to the boxing ring, chances are he'll be better prepared to go the full twelve rounds.

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