Bayo Akinfenwa has backed Conor McGregor to bounce back from his defeat at UFC 196 to Nate Diaz.
McGregor jumped up two weight divisions to fight Diaz last week, but suffered his first ever defeat in the UFC after tapping-out in the second round of their headline bout in Las Vegas.
But AFC Wimbledon striker Akinfenwa – famed for his ‘Beast Mode’ tagline and being the strongest player in FIFA 16 – took a philosophical approach to the result, and backed the Irishman to come back stronger.
Akinfenwa, speaking at the launch of EA SPORTS UFC 2, told us: “Setbacks are as certain as death – that’s what I believe.
“He came in and put it all on the line. I believe that we all have an autobiography. You have to know that you’re going to have setbacks and then when you have setbacks you have to come back.
“I’ve gone through setbacks and I know I’ll go through more setbacks in life. For me, if I know I can achieve it, and you come up against setbacks, it’s all about what you’re willing to do to try and come back from that.
“To jump up two weight classes?! First and foremost that is brave. It was a step too much for him, but for anybody who is trying to better himself it was a really brave thing to do.
“For anyone who talks that much hype, he’s got to constantly back it up, but, to be fair to him, he took it like a champ and was really humble in defeat.”
Bayo was talking at a punch power test conducted during a recent event to promote the launch of UFC 2, which hit shelves here in the UK today.
The man-mountain took on the likes of rugby union back-rower Nick Easter, former UFC interim heavyweight champion Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira, super middleweight boxing star George Groves and UFC middleweight champion Luke Rockhold.
Akinfenwa added: “Groves’ stamina was second-to-none; I was breathing and breathing and he just looked like he was cruising. I was overly impressed with Luke Rockhold – I’d like to say I was winning, but it was tough, man.
“I’m big, but those are some big guys. It’s interesting seeing what the UFC guys are like up close, and the things they do.”
Who strikes the hardest of the all? Find out in the video below…
[youtube id=”JHeLcsfU8yM” align=”center” maxwidth=”680″]
Bayo Akinfenwa took on the Finish the Fight Challenge to mark the launch of EA SPORTS UFC 2 . EA SPORTS UFC 2 is out now on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. Find out more at easports.com/uk/ufc.