Conor McGregor vs Nate Diaz – UFC 196 Main Event
March 6 2016, Las Vegas Nevada, 3:00 GMT+0
Today featherweight champion Connor “the Notorious” McGregor moves up to welterweight to take on Nate Diaz in the main event of UFC 196. This fight was set up after Rafael dos Anjos not managing to fight McGregor for the lightweight title due to injury. Diaz seems like a good replacement for the missing dos Anjos, as he is one of the few fighters that can match up with McGregor, at least in personality. But we must not forget, that Nate Diaz is ranked No.5 in the world.
McGregor a rising star in UFC with an impressive record of 7-0 in less than 3 years and has taken UFC by storm. With not 1 fight lost in his professional career since 2010, he is a force not to mess with. Some might argue, that with moving up the class he lost his advantages of height and reach, but he is a really good fighter and his striking force is one of the best, that is indicated in the fact, that 17 out of 19 of his professional fights ended in a knockout., with that he has 86% knockout rate in UFC. McGregor will make history today, as he will become first ever fighter to make $ 1,000,000 in a disclosed pursue (and winning bonus, sponsorship money etc. are not included in that amount). McGregor also told CNBC he will make $10 million just for this fight. Nate Diaz on the other side will make $500.000 just so show up which is a large sum of money, compared to $16.000 in his loss against Rafael dos Anjos in 2014.
I would not classify Nate Diaz as a “star” but more as a fighter, like his older brother, Nick Diaz. The difference between fighters and stars is stars cannot afford to lose, whereas fighters can. So in other words, stars can be manufactured whereas fighters cannot.
With this I’m not trying to say the “Notorious” is not a skilled martial artist, he’s a lethal technician and an exceptional athlete. But then again, his record speaks for himself, even though he does not stay quiet. McGregor is known for trash talking his opponents, which is not uncommon in a sport like that and it became one of his “trademarks”. But only trash talking does not get you a featherweight title.
Diaz needs a good plan to win over McGregor, and will most likely try to stall the fight and search for opportunities to get the Irish man to the ground, where Diaz seemingly has an upper hand, due to his excellent submissions. I am not saying it’s impossible for the Diaz to win, but I do not expect him to prevail in today’s match. Let’s face it, McGregor has set his bar really high, maybe even too high for him, as 1 loss can mean it will all come tumbling down around him. Quote from UFC president Dana White “You are one punch away from being worth zero” only proves my point.
In conclusion, McGregor will face an opponent that is the 1st since his UFC debut, that has height and reach advantage over the Irishman and Diaz knows how to use these advantages. Diaz is known as a defensively minded fighter, that leaves their opponents openings and with good upper body movement pulling back and leaving them lunging at air. only to strike them with right hook as they lean forward. Even though Diaz has a slight advantage when it comes to ground fight, McGregor has shown great defence in that aspect and it might not give Diaz an upper hand as it is expected. The momentum from McGregor and because he is an excellent fighter in every aspect I give the Irishman an edge in this fight.
Prediction: McGregor to win