Saturday, August 20, 2016, T-Mobile Arena, Las Vegas, Nevada, USA
Conor McGregor: Ireland
Nate Diaz: USA
Conor McGregor: 19-3-0
Nate Diaz: 20-10-0
Conor McGregor: -130 with Bovada.lv
Nate Diaz: even with Bovada.lv
THE Notorious knockout king comes back for round two against the submission master and he has some redemption on his mind.
The last time these two fought, it was one of the most highly publicised events in MMA history, with Conor McGregor talking a massive game in the lead up to UFC 196, but delivering very little on the day.
He was a hot beaten favourite then and now, while the odds are a little closer, the punters still think that he is going to win this fight.
And so does he, talking up his chances and launching attacks on his opponent – in true McGregor style.
But it appears he is taking this fight very seriously, spending some $300,000 on his training camp in the lead up to Sunday’s bout.
“I’m taking this contest very, very seriously,” McGregor said.
“I’ve flown in specific body types to replicate Nate’s skinny, tall frame.
“The boy won the lotto the last time.
“He knows it; I know it.
“Well, I get my revenge and I look forward to it.
“With gyms, cars, transport, flights, accommodations — I’d estimate we’re talking a $300,000 camp here.
“This is a big, big expense — but what I make is big. So, in the bigger picture, it’s rather small.”
And his coach John Kavanagh says it is all going to pay off on the weekend.
“There’s been some pretty major additions to his arsenal,” Kavanagh said.
“There’s some techniques that will be thrown in this fight that people have not seen that are very specific for that opponent.
“I’m a bit of a scientist when it comes to this, I have a science/engineering background, so we’ve ran a lot of experiments in the lab, in the gym here against similar opponents so I’m excited to see if those hypothesis become fact.”
Much of that fight in UFC 196 was played out on McGregor’s terms, even if he did dance around the octagon a bit.
He opened up Diaz, before failing to stop a devastating move that forced him to tap out.
“I’m feeling very confident in myself that I’ll go in and I’ll toy with this man,” McGregor said.
“Eight minutes of the fight, I was toying with him.
“That fadeaway left hand that he caught me with, my senses were still there.
“It was almost like a fatigue thing that my balance was gone.
“I always look back and question and say, what would have happened if I would have just weathered the storm?
“He was one or two shots being done, I feel.
“I feel when that left hand hit, he got this burst of energy.
“You can see it in his corner, they went insane. It was like they won the lotto.
“Then I took a couple shots and I shot and I ended up in that guillotine and then it was just downhill from there.
“I wonder what would have happened if I just kept my hands up, I kept circling, took the smacks and survived.
“Eventually his energy that he gained from that left-hand shot would have dipped again and then round three would have began.
“There’s a lot of questions and stuff I’m confident I can improve next time.
“I’m going in here confident that I will get this rematch back.”
But Diaz has certainly not been as mouthy, clearly confident after toppling his opponent the first time that he can repeat the dose.
“When I fight, I’m mad,” he said.
“I’m starving, I had to make weight, I trained my ass off, and I’m there to entertain.
“I’m just trying to do what I gotta do.
“Some people are out there trying to be the nicest guy, but I feel like a lot of that is frontin’.
“I think the difference between me and other people is that they’re playing the nice guy role and they’re just really well-behaved on camera.
“I meet a lot of people and they’re like, ‘You’re not such a bad guy.’ What does that mean?
“When you see me on camera I’ve got to fight another person, and I’m not gonna put on a front.”
Who do you go with, the brash charismatic Irishman who had his head handed to him by his opponent, or the American who is lucky he can fight, because he ain’t no brain surgeon? There is no doubt this fight has people salivating and for good reason. You feel that Diaz has the physical advantage with his size and reach, but McGregor is a savvy fox and one of the most technically gifted fighters the UFC has ever seen. We reckon he will have gone away and prepared like no man has prepared before. Picture Rocky before Ivan Drago. Any way, we reckon Diaz is always a chance, but we reckon McGregor is going to weather the storm and then finish him off in the fourth round.