Conor McGregor carries himself in a manner that rubs people the wrong way. His brashness only stands up if he can close the deal on fight night, and the last time McGregor stood across from Nate Diaz at UFC 196 he was submitted in the second round.
Both will make the jump to the 170-pound weight class for Saturday night’s fight, with McGregor moving up two levels to Diaz’s one. Though McGregor still holds the belt he took from Jose Aldo at 145 pounds, his trash-talking has yet to unravel Diaz the way it did the Brazilian he beat in a mere 13 seconds at UFC 194.
But after already losing to him on 11 days notice, Conor McGregor doesn’t seem to grasp the idea that a fully prepared Diaz will be even more dangerous this time around. McGregor is still intent on laughing it up with his one-liners and excessive profanity.
“I’m interested to see what the boy has done with a full camp,” McGregor told The Guardian. “Let’s see what his full camp has done. I believe I am the better fighter by a long stretch. He is tough, durable and big, that’s it. He’s spoke a big game about it, so let’s see.”
Whether still overconfident or just trying to overcompensate for the previous fight, apparently Conor McGregor doesn’t understand that Diaz has his number and he has the size advantage. McGregor is used to having the upper hand in terms of power at 145 pounds, but at 170 against a fighter like Diaz, that power edge truly disappears. Though, as Diaz pointed out, McGregor will never quit, it’s still going to be a clear mismatch between two men who have no business opposing one another.
“A lot of fighters quit,” Diaz said. “I get them in that guillotine and they’re done. They stay on top and get finished. He went to his back that a lot of fighters don’t do. That’s one thing, he didn’t give up. But there was nowhere to go.”
And it’s difficult to see just what the game plan will be for McGregor to change the outcome on Saturday night. Pride cometh before the fall, and that seems to be almost what McGregor is resigned to at this point.
“The highs are high and the lows are very, very low,” McGregor said. “This is the game we’re in. No one makes it out of this game unscathed, all you have to do is look at the history books. I made my plans for revenge and that’s it.”
And if the happenings at the press conference leading up to this clash are any indication, Conor McGregor is on edge about the results.
Things just got real between Diaz and McGregor at the UFC 202 press conference. pic.twitter.com/cxD8yYBl4W— Arash Markazi (@ArashMarkazi) August 17, 2016
Even McGregor’s trash talk seems to be fading into obscurity.
There’s no doubt the Irishman faces an uphill climb on Saturday night. After looking less effective the last time he fought at 170 pounds, it’s hard to imagine any type of training that will allow Conor McGregor to gain enough power to actually matter in this matchup.
He may have been on top of the MMA world a short while ago, but McGregor will teetering on the edge of irrelevancy with a second loss to Diaz on Saturday night. A loss would likely force him back down to 145 pounds, should McGregor still be able to make weight, or see him forced to enter the 155-pound class where physical monsters like Khabib Nurmagomedov wait to capitalize on the same weaknesses exposed by Diaz. Either way, Conor McGregor may never be the same guy who took the fighting world by storm just a few months ago should he lose once again at UFC 202.
[Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images]