McGregor vs. Diaz 2 - The Real UFC 200
Conor McGregor is arguably one of the biggest sensations to ever grace the UFC octagon. His incredible arsenal of striking combined with a high rate of power, speed and precision along with his mental warfare games leading up to fights have helped prompt the UFC even further than it has ever been by bringing in the biggest numbers the sport has ever seen. Many tune in to see if the self-proclaimed 'Mystic Mac' can back up his predictions which for the most part he has done a great job in doing so, not only predicting how the fight would end, but in what round it would happen in as well. Including the only Featherweight champion the UFC had ever seen at the time, Jose Aldo, who was then on a 10 year win streak.
McGregor had already dominated the featherweight division winning all contests via KO (Knockout) or TKO (Technical Knockout) and was all lined up to try an conquer a feat never previously done in the UFC by being a two-division title holder at the same time by facing the then-champ Rafael Dos Anjos at the Lightweight, 155-pound division of the UFC. Dos Anjos was forced to pull out a mere 2 weeks before the bout that was set to take place on March 5th of this year due to a foot injury, later reported to be a broken foot which left McGregor without an opponent. Many names were mentioned and many fighters contacted but McGregor and UFC President Dana White had decided Nate Diaz was the best draw to replace the injured Lightweight champ.
The Stockton-native Nate Diaz, who has been apart of the UFC for nearly a decade is also known for his antics and his bad boy reputation in and outside of the cage and stepped up to the plate to face McGregor on only 11 days notice. Diaz, normally a Lightweight fighter, had requested the match be at a higher weight due to the lack of time and preparation leading to the event which would not allow him to cut the weight necessary to compete at that weight class in time. McGregor countered with the offer to fight at 170 pounds which was accepted by Diaz making it McGregors first ever Welterweight bout of his MMA career.
The two met at UFC 196 and were the main event of the fight card, McGregor heavily favored to be the winner was on a mission to show he was 'The King' of all divisions. He came out heavy in the first round showing the type of skills that had made him such a fan favorite marching Diaz around the cage and landing heavy punches and kicks making a bloody mess out of him. However, by the second round of the contest, Diaz came out strong and warmed up against a then fatigued Conor McGregor landing heavy shots which prompted McGregor to do something unorthodox to his style of fighting by going for the take down against the Black Belt Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu artist. This proved to be the beginning of his demise when he was then manhandled on the ground and submitted via a rear naked choke. Diaz shocked the world, and McGregor wanted an immediate rematch.
Watch The Preview of The Rematch
The Real UFC 202
The UFC, with President Dana White at the helms, have been responsible for some of the most epic fight cards hosting the worlds most sought after fighters. The biggest card in the history of the sport was UFC 100 hosting Brock Lesnar amongst other fighters so when the approach to UFC 200 was ensuing, fans waited eagerly to see who would headline the newly anticipated card which was expected to be the biggest event that the UFC has ever had to offer. Dana White announced that the main event of the card would be none other than 'The Notorious' Conor McGregor versus his new nemesis Nate Diaz.
These plans fell through when McGregor who for the past 2 years had been the public face of the UFC decided not to attend a press conference saying that he has gotten to involved in the media aspects of the sport and wanted to focus on his training which was the reason he had gotten to the limelight in the first place. Many speculated that this was just a media ploy by Dana White and McGregor to pull in more money and that he in fact would still get the chance to fight on the mega card. However, White stood firm on his stance stating that '"it is part of the job, everyone has to do their part."
UFC 200 would go on without 'The Notorious' and the show would continue, but it turned into a major let down for fans since Interim Light Heavyweight Champ Jon 'Bones' Jones was pulled just days before the contest for failing a drug test in which he used a banned performance enhancing drug (PED). The card was just not what it was hyped up to be. Fans and media alike have put UFC 200 into the rearview mirror in a very quick fashion and have sights set on UFC 202 which very well may be the most stacked card that has ever been set with many title contensions being on the line. The main event of Diaz vs Mcgregor though is stealing the show by being the most anticipated rematch that the company, and possibly the sport, has ever seen.
Diaz, still believed to be the underdog in the contest despite his previous victory over McGregor has a huge advantage that he did not have in the moments leading up to the last fight, time and preparation. It is something the Stockton-native simply did not have the first go around since he took the fight on just 11 days notice where he was focusing more on cardio for an upcoming triathlon. This time he has a full camp, where he has the opportunity to practice more sparring and grappling than he had in the first time these two met. Along with the confidence of winning the last bout, Diaz may simply be the worst stylistic match up for McGregor who often uses mental warfare to screw with an opponents head before the match which simply just will not work on Diaz who is also very underrated with his boxing skills which are up in the talks of the best amongst the UFC roster. Not only that, he can take a punch better than the best of them and has been knocked out only once in his 30 MMA bouts and as far as grappling, McGregor does not stand a chance to the Brazilian Black Belt.
McGregor now has something though that he has not had in a while in his career since he has been pummeling through all the featherweights and that is motivation and a challenge. The Featherweight Division seemed to crumble at the feet of McGregor with nobody to challenge the Irishman, now he has something to prove. He says that Diaz lucked out and that "the boy hit the lottery" in their last fight. Since then, he has made his training more specific to Diaz's style bringing in taller, skinny southpaws to match his body type and working more on his grappling and ultimately, his conditioning in which he claims to be the reason he lost the first bout since he was not use to the extra weight and was simply fatigued going into the second round.
This fight will most likely bring in the highest numbers that the UFC has ever seen and is all set to fill the hype that UFC 200 was set to do and failed doing. Tune in August 20th to see who will win the rematch of McGregor vs Diaz and vote below as to who you think will win.