Conor McGregor vs Nate Diaz may not be the superfight we had been expecting, but it’s absolutely one of the most exciting matchups we could have hoped to see as MMA fans. UFC 196 won’t only feature McGregor vs Diaz, it will likewise see Holly Holm put her bantamweight title on the line for the very first time when she chooses on Miesha Tate.
Conor McGregor (-400) vs Nate Diaz (+300)
We have the featherweight winner taking on the fifth ranked lightweight in a welterweight battle. Yeah, this fight is going to be a little odd.
McGregor makes his initial 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 the victories coming through stoppage.
Much was made of McGregor’s striking style and the crushing knockout power the Irishman possesses. His standup game is based within a vertical posture that enables McGregor to throw his kicks without exerting excess energy or time. He’s become an expert in using his kicks to make the distance that he can use to open his arsenal of attacks. The swiftness and brutality of those attacks are unparalleled in MMA today.
The biggest question mark in this fight is dimensions. McGregor is fighting at 170 pounds for the first time in his profession; a leap of 25 pounds in contrast to his last struggle, and will be at a reach disadvantage for the first time within the UFC. ‘The Notorious One’ always held a distinct advantage in size in the lower weight classes, but Nate is roughly four inches taller and includes a two-inch reach advantage.
Diaz possesses a fighting style that is uniquely suited to him and his brother Nick. He is a volume boxer first and foremost on his feet, meaning that he cries in bunches and loves to be aggressive. The Stockton-native is great at keeping his distance, quickly moving in to throw a flurry and then return to distance. Diaz pairs his striking skills with a phenomenal ground game that has led to 11 of his 18 career wins coming through submission.
Despite his strong ground game, Diaz is not able to genuinely use it thanks to some bad wrestling game. It appears that Diaz will often attempt to taunt his opponents to a position where they go for the takedown and he will do his work. Though his striking sport is solid, it’s far from perfect as it involves a very simple attack with few unpredictable components.
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 have the exact same level of skills that McGregor does. Conor has good movement skills, which should help him overcome his attain drawback and pick up the win in this one.
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