Yes folks! After some weird drama that postponed this fight. It's finally going down, the biggest non title rematch in UFC history. Conor McGregor will step into the UFC octagon at UFC 202 in an attempt to avenge the loss to Nate Diaz. If this fight is half as good as the first matchup, the fans will be satisfied. The first fight was a chingasosfest that culminated with some text book Chingajitsu! Will this fight end differently? Let's take a closer look at these fighters and as always, I will make my fight pick for UFC 202.
Conor McGregor is the undisputed king of trash talking. It’s entertaining and many times extremely comical. He's gotten to the throne not just by talking, but by backing up his talk, at least most of the time. Conor McGregor comes into UFC 202 with an overall record of 19-3. He’s finishes 17 of those via KO/TKO. McGregor can finish fights!
McGregor was was undefeated in the UFC until he went up to the 170 lbs division to face Nate Diaz. At 145 lbs, McGregor is dominant. At that weight, he’s as fast as anyone, but stronger and carries more power than most. His wrestling and grappling ability is as good as it needs to be to keep the fight standing. When it’s time to stand and bang, he can do it with the best. Even in his loss, he stood there and traded like a warrior. Unfortunately for him, Nate Diaz can take a punch and deliver them just as well.
Nate Diaz is a fighter. A fighter that happens to have MMA skills! He’s willing to fight anyone at anytime. Keep in mind, he took the first Conor McGregor fight on 10 days notice. He’s 19-10 in overall. He’s racked up 12 submission wins and 4 KO/TKO victories. Diaz is willing to stand and bang with anyone, most of the time it pays off. Sometimes, fighters are smart and athletic enough to hit and run. Those fighters have beat him via decision victories.
Nate Diaz has one of the best chins in MMA. He’s been in the UFC almost 10 years and has only suffered one loss via KO. That KO was from a head kick back in 2013 in the Josh Thompson fight. Since then, his boxing skills have improved and his ground game has always been one of the best in MMA. He showed both those skills in the first fight with McGregor. Conor McGregor felt the wrath of the Stockton slap and then submitted to a rear naked choke. Now, Conor McGregor has brought in a southpaw boxer into his training camp. Will that change the outcome?
Both fighters will be better prepared. Nate Diaz has gone through a full training camp. Conor McGregor has trained specifically for Nate Diaz. This fight will come down to the game plan. For Conor McGregor to win, he has to use leg kicks and movement. He has to hit and run. He also needs to pace himself.
Nate Diaz needs to cut off the Octagon and force McGregor to engage. He also needs to watch for the takedown as McGregor might look for it in hopes to win rounds with the wet blanket strategy. That strategy of getting a takedown and then just playing defense and smothering an opponent.
Look for this fight to start slower than the first. McGregor will be a lot more cautious and will attempt to conserve energy. The fight will begin to warm up late in the second and really get going in the third round. At this point, the length of Diaz and the “Stockton Slap” will become a bigger and bigger hurdle for McGregor to get over. I doubt McGregor will be happy winning by landing leg kicks and running around the cage, so he will have to open up, and this will just get him in trouble.
I see Nate Diaz winning in the late rounds by ground and pound as his gas tank will outshine McGregor’s and the fight will end up on the ground.
If you haven’t seen it already, check out the awesome free video: UFC 202 Bad Blood: Diaz vs. McGregor 2
Feel free to comment below and let us know how you think Diaz vs. McGregor 2 will go.