Written by Derek Moody, August 29, 2016, at 12:03 a.m. Tweet to: @DerekMoody619
Conor McGregor returns to the winner’s circle with a majority decision over Nate Diaz. A bloody fight as expected, proved to be worth waiting five months for. Of course, the die hard McGregor fans are very happy with the outcome though he fell short on his prediction…again. Nate Diaz has proved time and time again that his chin is very durable and he’s not one to predict a finish on.
The shots McGregor landed would certainly have the 145 and 155 divisions going through concussion protocols, Nate is just cut from a different cloth. Only being stopped twice, it’s hard to envision him being knocked out.
The same goes for Conor, his chin is very proven it’s his submission defense that tends to be the weak link. Even though he was submitted by Nate five months ago and all three of his losses are by submission, it’s hard to envision.
After five months of preparation, we saw the adjustments McGregor made. He finally keyed in on the leg kicks which have always altered Diaz’ performance. A few major adjustments involved patience and versatility. McGregor was patient in not over committing this time around.
Three knockdowns occurred and he didn’t engage in the ground game by sticking to his strengths forcing Diaz to stand up. In the previous fight McGregor didn’t show much of his striking arsenal as he stuck to the big left hand shot which caused him to tire a lot sooner.
This time, he attacked the leg and the body causing Diaz to slow down for two entire rounds. That may have been the difference maker helping McGregor earn the majority decision win.
Diaz did out strike McGregor in his losing effort and showed many flashes of finishing the fight. The will the two fighters showed made this fight worth the wait. Neither would quit while engaging in back and forth dirty boxing. Early in the fight McGregor pressed forward placing Diaz in awkward positions resulting in the knockdowns.
Not known as having the best footwork he went from average to non existent in the first two rounds as McGregor was able to pick his shots and force him wherever he wanted him to be. Towards the end of round two, Diaz started to really find some range with his strikes. A bloody mess as he usually is against decorated strikers, Diaz’ confidence was rising.
McGregor ran a few times during the final two minutes to catch his breath and reset to gain a better position. Diaz sensed McGregor slowing down so he applied pressure as this fight was beginning to look like the first fight. Round three was the turning point in the fight as Nate Diaz finally came to life.
Pushing forward the entire round he was able to get a hold of McGregor and damage his will. There was a moment of deja vu when McGregor started to stagger from the combinations Diaz was bouncing off of him.
Somehow McGregor survived the round and had to really dig deep in order to continue the fight. Round four, McGregor came out looking very fresh and hurt Diaz early with a body shot and never allowed Diaz to recover. Pressing forward and opening up with combinations gave McGregor an edge. Every advance Diaz made, he either stuffed or countered. This was the only point throughout the fight where Diaz looked as if he couldn’t continue.
The majority decision ruling was interesting but the correct guy won. Both fighters want to go for a third time in the Octagon. Currently no talks of a third fight are in the air. It does appear as the UFC does not want to put on a third fight.
Had McGregor won the first fight the UFC wouldn’t have come knocking on Diaz’ door for a second fight. Diaz vs McGregor actually proved to be beneficial for the organization as these are the two guys with the biggest followings. They are also great at selling the fights as neither refrains from verbal warfare.
A rubber match would be great but the featherweight division has been on freeze for a year. It would only happen if McGregor vacated his belt and they meet at lightweight for a title eliminator fight. A title fight could be on the line if McGregor wins against Eddie Alvarez if given a shot. There’s no telling at this point but there are many moves taking place at the moment.
Possible Moves For McGregor
- Defending featherweight title against Jose Aldo
- Lightweight title shot against Eddie Alvarez
- Rubber match against Nate Diaz in the lightweight division
Possible Moves For Diaz
- Rubber Match against Conor McGregor
- Money fight against Cowboy Cerrone lightweight or welterweight division