McGregor vs Diaz 2 prediction and previewWritten by Mark Weber
When Conor McGregor rematches Nate Diaz tonight at UFC 202, there will be no belt on the line. In fact, there's not even a title shot at-stake.
In the first bout at UFC 196, Diaz, entering with an unimpressive 18-10 record, submitted McGregor in 2 rounds. And now, instead of McGregor defending his 145 lb title, he will once again fight 25 pounds above his weight class against the bigger, taller opponent.
(image courtesy of Sherdog)
So why the insane buzz for McGregor vs Diaz 2?
Well, it's a fun and interesting match-up.
The rematch should be a ridiculously entertaining fight.
In Conor McGregor, we have a very brash and cocky fighter who talks a lot of trash but also backs it up in the Octagon. He is supremely skilled, indeed. Couple that with his exciting fighting style, his zany personality and world class charisma and we have the perfect storm in Conor McGregor.
And Nate Diaz, like McGregor, is known for his entertaining fight style that includes a well-rounded striking game and some of the best Jiu-Jitsu in MMA. Nate also has some of the best knockout and submission skills in all of MMA.
Before their first fight, Nate had been sitting on the sidelines for nearly a year demanding more money to fight, subsequently requesting his release from the UFC. A year and a half later, Diaz is promoting what could possibly be the biggest PPV in UFC history.
McGregor vs Diaz 2 prediction
Easy fight for McGregor? Given Diaz's record of 18-10, many would think so.
... But don't be fooled. If you MMA, you know the story of Nate Diaz the quality fighter he is.
The first fight was intriguing partly because we didn't know how a somewhat soft Nate would look entering the bout on 10 days notice. And true to form, it appeared McGregor would beat him to a bloody pulp early in the first round.
Conor came out incredibly aggressive, landing several big left hands to bloody his larger foe. Diaz though, was patiently waiting while countering a lot of Conor's shots.
In the second round, McGregor started to fade and Diaz started to ramp it up. Nate landed a shot that hurt McGregor and followed it up with some aggression of his own. McGregor, usually sharp and allusive defensively, had his hands down and got tagged repeatedly.
Diaz, of course, would go on to stop McGregor in Round 2 via a rear-naked choke.
Who could have predicted such a shocker?
Tonight, McGregor is going to have to get back to his roots and become the counter-puncher we're use to seeing. He really thought he could move up 25 pounds and finish the bigger Diaz in the first round. But Nate is a solid 170lb fighter who has only been KO'd once in his entire career.
McGregor is going to have to prepare to go the distance and have a more counter-oriented gameplan like we're usually accustomed to seeing from the Irishman.
Meanwhile, Diaz, who had less than 10 days to prepare for their first encounter, has completed a full-camp done this time.
Will it result in an easier win for him tonight?
Prediction: The smart money is on Nate Diaz once again taking a submission victory. He's the bigger/taller opponent with a big grappling advantage, has elite cardio, and is willing to stand and trade because he can not only take a shot, but deliver one back.
But McGregor won't go in with the same strategy this time. Look for him to come into this fight much more prepared. He will fight smarter and will out-strike Diaz who often fails to use his grappling advantage over opponents.
Again though, the smart money is definitely on Diaz winning by either TKO or Submission. Either way, there's no chance this fight won't be entertaining.