If you’re a big Nate Diaz fan, and never jumped on the Conor McGregor bandwagon, then today is a glorious day no?
Yes, as you’ve almost certainly heard by now, Diaz brought McGregor’s hype train to a screeching halt last night at UFC 196, by submitting the featherweight champ in round two. Early on, however, it looked like McGregor might just score the first round, KO, he had predicted, as he landed several hard lefts. Although Diaz was cut badly, he didn’t seem fazed, and kept returning fire.
Then, after rocking McGregor with a left in round two, the Irish star shot in a few moments later. Diaz squashed the TD, moved into mount, and the rear-naked-choke was offered up.
After the jaw dropping fight, Diaz told FOX Sports the following, while discussing how the bout started, and the fact it was a short notice scrap (quote via press release):
“Nothing surprised me, but I wasn’t getting training camp, that straight punch usually doesn’t hit me. I knew I was going to start slow and pick up as I go. My plan was to not use anything in the first round and pick up. It’s surprising I got hit, I shouldn’t get hit.”
“On my worst day I’ll train two hours. I don’t have hobbies. I’m always eating. I’ll have a day when I eat junk food and then go train the next day,” said Diaz, while discussing the short notice he had for the bout. “I train harder than most guys. I’m a martial artist. Even if you can’t win, you should be able to not die. I had to do what I had to do. I put in a lot of time. Everything I have, I worked for.”
There’s no doubt it wasn’t looking good for Diaz during the opening frame, and even at the beginning of round two, he ate some punches as well, But, when you’re as tough and dangerous as Diaz, if he’s not out, he’s in the fight.
Now it’s going to be fascinating to see what the UFC has planned for McGregor, considering this crazy ride has come to an end. One would think the star will be defending the 145 belt next, and in the post-fight presser, McGregor indicated that’s what he intends to do.