Revisiting the McGregor vs Diaz rivalry
Just imagine if Rafael Dos Anjos never broke his foot. That injury created one of the greatest rivalries of UFC history. A rivalry that still hasn’t fully played out. The UFC has decided to release McGregor vs Diaz free, so let’s revisit the saga.
UFC 196 was one of the promotions most successful pay-per-views ever with 1.5 million buys.
Conor’s star power was authenticated. The last-minute switch from RDA to Nate Diaz didn’t negatively affect PPV buys. Nate’s cult-like following paired with Conor was the perfect recipe to generate massive dollars. McGregor had already captured the UFC featherweight title with plans to make history and secure the lightweight championship as well.
The bout’s allure was special. For the first time in McGregor’s UFC career, fans wondered how Conor would perform with an opponent his size.
Nate Diaz shocked the entire world.
Diaz floored fans across the MMA world when he defeated The Notorious One. Although the submission came after taking a bloody beating, it proved once again that the brothers from Stockton can scrap.
A gassed McGregor took his loss humbly and vowed to get revenge. At UFC 202, he did just that. Edging out Nate in a controversial majority decision, McGregor let fans know that “the king is back.”
The X-factor to McGregor’s gameplan was consistent and effective kicks to the legs. Mixing kicks with his boxing combinations was enough for the judges to score the fight in Conor’s favor although advanced metrics show that Diaz outscored McGregor in significant strikes 166-164.
Nate Diaz: Outlanded McGregor 166-164 in significant strikes according to @FightMetric
— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) August 21, 2016
Diaz also believed he won the fight stating, “I came into this fight worse off than last time. I didn’t train, I had an injury. F**k that! I didn’t make excuses, but he should have finished me off. I want number three. I gave him number two the second time. So I’m ready to go again, f**k yeah!”
“Hey, we’re going number three. F**k yeah. Good job today, Conor, but we’re going for three. For real.”
It’s hard to believe that we’re slowly approaching the third year anniversary of this intense rivalry. With Conor on hiatus and Diaz making a comeback against Anthony Pettis at UFC 241, do you believe we will ever get the trilogy fight? If so, at what weight class? Let us know in the comment section below.
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