UFC 196 is here! With the card bringing two huge fights to Las Vegas tonight, MMA Latest is bringing you two debates. Earlier, we brought you the Holm vs Tate debate between Jordan Killion and Matthew Wells. Now, we move on to the main event – Conor McGregor vs Nate Diaz. Picking the Irishman we have Chase Carle and arguing the case for Diaz will be Brendan McGlynn.
Our usual starting point is simply a case of why each debater believes their fighter will win.
Brendan McGlynn: As we know McGregor was supposed to fight Dos Anjos for the lightweight title. Dos Anjos got hurt and now McGregor is now fighting Nate Diaz. On 11 days’ notice. I picked Nate Diaz to win. As Nate said “you’re used to fighting midgets” and that isn’t entirely false. This is only the 2nd time in his UFC career that he has had a height disadvantage, the first one being Max Halloway (McGregor’s only fight to ever go to decision). Yes I know height doesn’t play too much into a fights outcome, the point I’m making is I believe this will be the first time Conor has had a reach disadvantage in his UFC career. I think Diaz’s size will stifle McGregor’s ability to close distance and his ability to land that Nuke of a left hand. Diaz has a superior jiu-jitsu game to McGregor, maybe the toughest one he will ever have faced. I believe Nate will be able to grab a hold of Conor and drag him down to the mat and submit him.
Chase Carle: Nate has a reach advantage, true, but it’s 2 inches, it’s not like Conor’s facing off against Jon Jones or something. Max Holloway is a far more talented fighter than Nate Diaz and while it went to decision, he still lost. You bring up the fact that Conor was originally slated to fight RDA, well RDA is a significantly tougher opponent that Nate Diaz and even though Conor always says he doesn’t prepare for opponents, to me that has to play a factor. The talk before the Mendes fight was “Conor’s never had to face a wrestler before, he’ll crack” and he weathered that storm and took out Mendes. He was supposed to be facing the pressure against Aldo, 13 seconds later he was climbing the cage to celebrate. Now he finds himself once again, taking a short notice opponent change. Dana White said that Conor’s words when he found out RDA was out were “I don’t care, I’ll fight anyone.” Then Diaz stalled negotiations because of the weight cut so Conor said “let it be 170, let him be comfortable”. Conor at 170 lbs looks like a different human being entirely, and if it’s possible, he seems more confident and relaxed than ever before. Conor’s movement, accuracy and power will be the undoing of Stockton 209 and Conor McGregor will set his sights back on getting a 2nd title.
BM: You bring up the weight issues. That’s he said she said at this point. Conor says 170 all along Diaz said he accepted it at 155. That part’s irrelevant. I’m not saying the reach advantage will be huge I’m saying it’s going to make it tough for McGregor. Conor has rarely been the smaller guy. Diaz is a tough guy and I think it will be a rude awakening for Conor thinking he can hang with the WW division. If he can’t get past Diaz at WW he certainly won’t get passed any of the top 10 guys in that division.
Both fighters are known almost as much for their mind game tactics as they are for their fighting ability, often times choosing to trash talk their opponent’s in the cage. It is hard to see neither man employing these tactics tonight, but will it be an effective tactic?
CC: Diaz is tough but he’s also frustratingly inconsistent and seems to take after his brother sometimes in the sense that he focuses more on running his mouth and trying to throw his opponent off his game mentally than engaging. That won’t work against Conor in my opinion considering Conor’s even better at that than the Diaz brothers are. We’ve also seen that Nate doesn’t really do well when he’s pressured, which is what Conor has promised he’ll do in this fight. I’m a firm believer in “anything can happen on any given night” and I like Nate, I just don’t see a realistic shot of him winning this fight.
BM: When’s the last time Diaz screwed around in the cage? I think his trash talking is an intriguing aspect to his style. He has matured as a fighter in the octagon and has polished his skills in the cage.
CC: He actually screwed around quite a bit in the Michael Johnson fight, I’m not sure how well it translated on TV, but I was there live and we (the crowd) loved it. Obviously it didn’t cost him anything in that fight but if he does the same thing against Conor I think he’ll pay for it.
BM: He doesn’t do it to sell the fights anymore in the cage. It’s part of his game. When he’s beating you he’s gonna do anything he can to get you frazzled in there. And it works.
CC: And I get that, I just don’t think it works against someone like Conor. And I’m interested to see how he holds up mentally against Conor since he’s never had to go against someone who runs his mouth even more that Nate does. I don’t think it will affect Nate all that much, but stranger things have happened.
BM: It hasn’t affected Nate yet, I think it’s more likely to affect Conor. He has never had anyone that could hang with him talking. Nate has been in the game long enough for trash talk not to faze him.
CC: Like I said, I don’t think it really effects either guy. It’s just interesting because neither guy has come up against someone who can give almost as well as they get on the mic before. People said Aldo had been in the game long enough for it not to faze him too, but it certainly seemed to get to him leading up to the fight. Go back and watch the Mendes fight. Mendes at one point was literally using his fingers to tear at the cut on Conor’s head and Conor stayed calm and pulled out the win, I don’t think a bunch of f bombs and name calling is going to faze him.
It certainly didn’t take long for the guys to get into it! An intriguing aspect of this fight is the fact that, despite the fact that McGregor has never fought at welterweight before, there is talk of him potentially fighting UFC welterweight champion Robbie Lawler for the title in the near future. Of course, for Diaz (who has not fought at 170 pounds since 2011), a win over the UFC’s biggest star could give him a strong bargaining chip in title fight discussions.
CC: Dana said it the other day, it’s hard to deny Conor at this point. If he wins and he wants Robbie Lawler (and he’s said that he does) then he’s going to get Robbie Lawler, possibly as soon as UFC 200.
BM: Personally I don’t believe Nate will stay at WW. If Nate beats McGregor he will definitely get a big time fight next. If he’s guaranteed a WW title shot he might stay. But it will be hard for him to stay there when Nick returns. McGregor obviously will. He’s the UFC golden boy. If he beats Nate at WW he will get a shot at the title, and likely lose to anyone in the top 5 in that division.
CC: We agree until that last sentence. I think he can beat Lawler, I also think he could beat Woodley or Hendricks. The guys he’d struggle with in the top 5 (6 counting Maia) at 170 would be Rory, Wonderboy, Maia and Condit.
However, that is a debate for another day and, right now, we are focused on UFC 196 and McGregor’s fight with Nate Diaz. Tonight’s fight is, as discussed in our first debate of the day, the first time since UFC 51 that a non-title fight main evented a UFC event over a title fight. Similarly to Jordan and Matt earlier, the guys agreed that it was simply down to McGregor’s star power.
CC: I think it demonstrates the drawing power of Conor McGregor. Brendan calls him the golden boy and he’s right in the sense of how popular he is as a fighter. Whether you like the trash talk or not, it sells fights, and the fact that he backs it up in the cage sells even more
BM: Holm solidified herself as a star with the Rousey KO. That being said, without McGregor the Holm vs Tate title fight would not be able to support the sub-par undercard. McGregor sells fights and so does Diaz. Two five round fights will do this card wonders. No one wants to see Conor and Nate only go 3 rounds. That’s one of the reasons it’s slotted as the main event.
One last topic going into this fight has been how neither fighter really required a weight cut and are fighting at arguably their natural, healthy weight. We had unanimous agreement that this is a good thing and that it is potentially a glimpse at the future for MMA.
CC: It’s really cool to see 2 guys that aren’t worried about making weight, I’m not sure if this is a glimpse into the future since I think there will still be guys going down a weight class to try to get the size advantage, but it’s possible.
BM: I believe we are gonna see a lot of guys start to transition. California has already realized the dangers of weight cutting as they have banned it in their state. I believe many of the athletic commissions will follow suit in the future.
CC: That’s true, and it benefits the fighters too. Rumble used to fight at 170 for Pete’s sake. Looked like a cadaver at weigh-ins, and consistently missed weight which cost him money. Now he’s at light heavyweight and he’s a wrecking machine.
BM: Agreed. I think we will see it from fighters very often soon. It’s one less aspect that they will have to concentrate on during their camp. If they don’t have to cut weight they can take the effort put into that and convert it into their training.
The only thing left to do is for both debaters to make their official predictions for the fight.
BM: I’ve got “Real American Ninja Sh*t” over “Fake Ass Irish Ninja Sh*t” via third round submission. I think Diaz uses his size to control the fight early on. Pulls McGregor into his guard middle of the third and slaps in a triangle choke. 3:27 of round 3 Diaz via triangle choke.
CC: Conor says he’s gonna put Nate down at the end of the 1st, so I’m going with Mystic Mac.
There we have it; another debate in the books. Who do you think argued the better point for their fighter and has either man made you reconsider your own prediction? Get in touch and let us know!
Dana White gives an update on the lightweight title picture
When it comes to the lightweight division there is always a lot of talk with very little clarification. But now it seems Dana White has had enough of waiting for champion Conor McGregor and plans to move on in his absence.
“The Notorious” Conor McGregor won the UFC lightweight title back in November 2016 at UFC 205 where he became the first fighter to hold two belts simultaneously, however, he has not competed in MMA since.
Speaking on Sunday night’s after UFC Fight Night St. Louis UFC President Dana White said “Conor has said he is thinking about coming back in September if he comes back in September that’s almost two years, that can’t happen. It’s not fair to everybody else. Love Conor, respect Conor, love everything he’s done for this company, everybody knows that I say it all the time. The belt would have to move on.”
White also spoke about the two men that would fight for the lightweight belt saying “You do Khabib versus Tony, we’re working on that fight now and if and when Conor comes back he would get the first crack at the title.”
Then when presenter Karyn Bryant pushed for clarification and asked: “So you’re saying that Conor could possibly be stripped of his title?” Dana responded without hesitation “absolutely”.
"Conor has said he's thinking about coming back in September. If he comes back in September, that's almost two years…that can't happen." — @danawhite
— FOX Sports: UFC (@UFCONFOX) January 15, 2018
The news will excite UFC fans across the globe who have been clamoring for the Ferguson vs Khabib matchup which they have been denied on three separate occasions. No date was confirmed for the potential matchup but rumors have been circulating that the UFC is targeting UFC 223 in April.
Conor McGregor reacts to Khabib Nurmagomedov’s win at UFC 219
On Saturday night the world watched as Khabib Nurmagomedov dismantled the striking expert Edson Barboza at UFC 219. The reactions were filled with praise for the undefeated Russian fighter. Media members and fans alike were calling Nurmagomedov one of the best lightweights in the world, but there is one man the world was waiting to hear from, UFC lightweight champion Conor McGregor. McGregor was silent following the fight between Nurmagomedov and Barboza, that is until Monday morning when he took to Twitter to state his opinion about the Number one contender.
That Dagestani was dog shit the other night you's are all nuts. Game full of sloppy bums asking to be slept. Pay me my worth and Kings back.
— Conor McGregor (@TheNotoriousMMA) January 1, 2018
Truly truly truly get on your fucking knees and beg me. Otherwise I don't give a bollox.
My whiskey is out this year and thats Diddy bread.
— Conor McGregor (@TheNotoriousMMA) January 1, 2018
“Truly truly truly get on your fucking knees and beg me,” McGregor wrote on Twitter. “Otherwise, I don’t give a bollox. My whiskey is out this year and that’s Diddy bread.” The whiskey that McGregor is referring to is his very own grand that he announced would be coming out following his loss to Floyd Mayweather this past August.
Rumors about McGregor’s return have ranged from him retiring from fighting to live a life of wealth with his family, to expect his return to the UFC this summer. No one really knows if McGregor will ever defend his UFC lightweight belt, but if he is to do so UFC President Dana White has said that it will be against interim champion Tony Ferguson.
Ferguson was also seeking a fight with Nurmagomedov prior to winning the interim belt against Kevin Lee. It is entirely possible that we will see these two battle for the interim title in the octagon before we see the return of Conor McGregor. Of course, these days there are no guarantees in regards to title contention, McGregor and his camp have publically stated that they would like to face Nurmagomedov in his home country of Russia.
Conor McGregor has ‘Every intention of fighting in 2018’
Despite being inactive since his historic boxing bout with Floyd Mayweather Jr. in August, Conor McGregor is never far from the headlines. Recently his out of cage antics have got people questioning if he’ll ever be back.
Thankfully the UFC lightweight champion appears to have cleared up any rumors about his fighting career.
Speaking to his sponsor Betsafe, the “Notorious” Conor McGregor said “My focus is getting back into the right ring or octagon. 2017 was historic. I have transcended both the sport of MMA and boxing. At this stage of my career, as it has been for the majority of my UFC career, potential opponents must lobby for fights with me. We could see Conor McGregor anywhere. I run the fight game, the fashion game, the whiskey game or whatever the next business endeavor might be”.
McGregor added, “I have every intention of fighting in 2018 if my compensation and business development endeavors accurately reflect my influence on combat sports.”
This comes just two weeks after UFC President Dana White told reporters “Conor might never fight again. The guy’s got $100 (expletive) million. I’ve got guys that made less than that and were lawyers and went to school their whole life and quit working.”
White went on to say “Try to get up and get punched in the face every day when you’ve got $100 million in the bank. Money changes everything with a lot of people.”
White also told reporters that the “Notorious one”, “can’t be paid enough money” and that he is “worth every penny and more.” McGregor’s recent statement suggests he knows that and won’t be back till his demands are met.
The UFC lightweight division has been stalled in the absence of the champion McGregor and now the interim champion Tony Ferguson has undergone surgery. The UFC has been known the remove belts from fighters who have been delayed for extended amounts of time, this would be highly unlikely with the popularity of McGregor.
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