Conor McGregor vs Nate Diaz may not be the superfight we were anticipating, but it’s absolutely among the most exciting matchups we could have hoped to watch as MMA fans. UFC 196 will not just feature McGregor vs Diaz, it will also see Holly Holm place her bantamweight title at stake for the first time when she takes on Miesha Tate.
Conor McGregor (-400) vs Nate Diaz (+300)
We have the featherweight winner taking on the ranked lightweight in a welterweight battle. Yeah, this struggle is going to be a bit odd.
McGregor makes his first appearance in the Octagon since dusting Jose Aldo in 13 seconds to acquire the featherweight title. Since joining the UFC back in 2013, McGregor is 7-0 with six of those victories coming via stoppage.
Much was made of McGregor’s striking style along with the crushing knockout power the Irishman possesses. His standup game relies within a vertical stance that enables McGregor to throw his kicks without exerting excess time or energy. He’s become an expert in using his teammates to make the distance he can use to open his arsenal of attacks. The swiftness and brutality of those attacks are unparalleled in MMA today.
The largest question mark in this battle is dimensions. McGregor is fighting 170 lbs for the first time in his career; a jump of 25 pounds in contrast to his final struggle, and will be at 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 includes a two-inch reach advantage.
Diaz possesses a fighting style that’s uniquely suited to him along with his brother Nick. He’s a volume boxer first and foremost on his feet, meaning that he throws punches in bunches and loves to be aggressive. The Stockton-native is good at maintaining his distance, fast moving in to throw a flurry and then return to distance. Diaz pairs his striking skills with a phenomenal floor game that has led to 11 of the 18 career wins coming via submission.
Despite his powerful ground game, Diaz is unable to truly use it thanks to some poor wrestling game. It appears that Diaz will often try to taunt his opponents into a position where they go to the takedown and that he can do his job. Though his striking sport is strong, it’s far from perfect as it involves a simple attack with few unpredictable elements.
Can Diaz submit McGregor? Yes. Can he get the opportunity to? Not likely.
This is expected to become a standup affair and though Diaz is a capable striker, he fails to possess the same degree of skills that McGregor does. Conor has great movement skills, which ought to help him conquer his reach disadvantage and pick up the win in this one.
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