Conor McGregor vs Nate Diaz might not be the superfight we were expecting, but it is certainly among the most exciting matchups we might have hoped to watch as MMA fans. UFC 196 will not only include McGregor vs Diaz, it will likewise see Holly Holm place her bantamweight title on the line for the first time when she chooses on Miesha Tate.
Conor McGregor (-400) vs Nate Diaz (+300)
We’ve got the featherweight champion taking on the ranked lightweight in a welterweight battle. Yeah, this fight will be a little odd.
McGregor makes his first appearance in the Octagon since dusting Jose Aldo in 13 seconds to win the featherweight title. Since joining the UFC back in 2013, McGregor is 7-0 with half of the victories coming via stoppage.
Much has been made of McGregor’s striking style and also the devastating knockout power the Irishman owns. His standup game relies within a vertical stance that enables McGregor to throw his teammates without even exerting surplus energy or time. He’s become an expert at using his kicks to make the distance he can use to open his arsenal of attacks. The swiftness and brutality of these attacks are unparalleled in MMA today.
The biggest question mark in this battle is size. McGregor is fighting 170 pounds for the first time in his profession; a jump of 25 pounds compared to his last fight, and will be in a hit disadvantage for the first time inside the UFC. ‘The Notorious One’ consistently held a distinct advantage in size at the lower weight classes, but Nate is roughly four inches taller and has a two-inch reach advantage.
Diaz possesses a fighting style that is uniquely suited to him and his brother Nick. He is a volume fighter and foremost on his toes, meaning he cries in bunches and loves to be aggressive. The Stockton-native is good at keeping his distance, quickly moving in to throw a flurry and then getting back to space. Diaz pairs his remarkable skills using a phenomenal ground game which has led to 11 of his 18 career wins coming through submission.
Despite his strong ground game, Diaz is not able to truly utilize it thanks to a bad wrestling game. It appears that Diaz will frequently attempt to taunt his opponents into a position where they go to the takedown and he can perform his work. Though his striking sport is solid, it’s far from ideal since it involves a simple attack with few unpredictable elements.
Can Diaz submit McGregor? Yes. Can he get the chance to? Not likely.
This is expected to become a standup affair although Diaz is a competent striker, he does not possess the same degree of skills that McGregor does. Conor has great movement abilities, which ought to help him conquer his reach drawback and pick up the win in this one.