It is finally here everyone! UFC 202 is this Saturday night, and the much anticipated rematch between Conor McGregor and Nate Diaz will finally happen. It has been a long five months waiting for the rematch, and the time has come. Conor demanded a rematch and demanded that they fight at 170 pounds again…careful what you wish for Conor. Somehow, after getting submitted in just the second round, Conor finds himself the favorite again in the rematch. McGregor fans everywhere have been given reason to still be cocky coming into this fight against the bigger more experienced fighter. My thoughts on this fight have not changed from my prediction the first time they fought, Nate Diaz will win by submission.
McGregor has had five months to prepare for this fight mentally and physically, which is as much of a challenge as any other fight he has ever had in itself. He said he has spent $300K in training for this fight, bringing in top-level kick boxers and boxers with height and length to mimic the style of Diaz. Much respect to Conor for doing that and realizing after a loss that is what he needs to do to get to the next level of MMA.
If I was to make the case for Conor winning I would say he has to use his speed and his kicking ability to beat Nate. Usually the blueprint to beat a Diaz brother is utilize leg-kicks, quick in-and-out strikes, and smothering wrestling. Out of those three Conor’s strength would be quick in-and-out movements with his striking. He is not a wrestler, and he has not been one to use leg kicks in the past, but for this fight I think he is going to have to. If Conor can effectively use his leg kicks and get the left hand off quick and be out of the reach of Nate’s left hand, he has a great shot at winning the fight. It is tough for me to see Nate getting knocked out, so Conor is going to have to keep the pace and gameplay for five rounds, which he has never had to do. The biggest question Saturday is: Can Conor last?
How I actually see the fight going is basically the same way as the first fight. It is going to be a very exciting fight with back and forth action from both fighters. I see the cardio and pace of Nate Diaz once again being the difference in the fight. I think his boxing will wear Conor down, and eventually the fight will find itself on the mat where Nate will end the fight via submission. His pure boxing ability along with his length and unsuspecting power will be the focus point of the fight. The constant pressure and grappling ability from Diaz is unmatched. I do not like to predict what round, because fights are hard enough to pick as it is, but I will say Diaz gets the victory by way of submission.
The only fight I have ever been more excited for was Nick Diaz vs. GSP, but this weekend is close. I cannot wait to have a house full of McGregor fans so my two brothers, my boy Coakley, and I can turn to all of our friends once again with our middle fingers held high!