MMA Forethought: UFC 196

MMA Forethought: UFC 196

Photo: Edward Carbajal

Photo: Edward Carbajal

By Edward Carbajal

 

UFC 196 is finally here and this fight is yet another test for Conor McGregor to either back up his talks, or be silenced by Nate Diaz. The card is stacked with veterans on the Fight Pass pre-lims and as the co-main event title fight, Holly Holm is ready for her first title defense against number one bantamweight contender Miesha Tate, and earlier in the night Diego Sanchez is fighting Jim Miller as the main event on UFC Fight Pass. UFC 196 had some hiccups before it arrived, but now all eyes are on McGregor vs. Diaz.

With all the excitement leading up to these two fighting with the scale set at 170 pounds, Frontproof Media will attempt to give some forethought on how these fights could go down.

Connor McGregor (19-2) vs. Nate Diaz (18-10)

This was supposed to be Rafael Dos Anjos facing McGregor for his lightweight title. However, having broken his foot only 11 days before the event the UFC had to scramble for an opponent. Not hard to do considering Diaz called out McGregor after his win at UFC on Fox 17. A new fight, at a new weight for the featherweight champion is sure to be true test, especially against the very durable and highly skilled Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt in Nate Diaz.

The short notice could only help McGregor as he has had a full camp and Diaz did not. The power of his strikes will also be tested, if he cannot drop Diaz in the new weight class he will be in for a long night. Diaz has the reach to beat him standing and if the fight does go to the ground, McGregor will be in deep water there since his only two losses are by submission. Diaz would be wise to lull him into a take-down and submit the Irishman, but if the short notice plays a factor he may get caught should he become fatigued.

This fight is too tough to call, let them answer the question of who is better Saturday night.


Holly Holm (10-0) vs. Miesha Tate (17-5)

The undefeated and newly crowned bantamweight champion Holly Holm showcased what someone does when they have mastered a fighting discipline and imposes it on their opponent. That is how she beat Ronda Rousey and we probably should not expect anything different at UFC 196. She only makes small adjustments to fight her fight, which is the goal of any mixed martial artist.

That being said Miesha Tate is a jack of all trades in that aspect and can probably answer her striking with better wrestling and pressure.  Finding a hole in her game is better than trying to out strike the well-known striker. If Tate is able to find a way to cut off Holm’s footwork and get her in the grind of wrestling and grappling and wear her down, it’s her fight to win.

It won’t be easy since we all know Holm does her homework to counter game plans like that. If she doesn’t KO Tate, she could take a decision.


Jim Miller (25-7) vs. Diego Sanchez (25-8)

Two well-known fighters in the sport of MMA that have records that almost mirror each other face off as the Fight Pass headliner for UFC 196. Miller is coming off of a loss to Michael Chiesa at UFC Fight Night 80, it should be noted he was winning before he fell into Chiesa’s choke. The 32 year old fighter was always in the main event in the past but he has had more wins than losses lately but the fire is still there to compete.

“Fire” comes to mind when fans think of Sanchez as the Ultimate Fighter alumni is also coming off a unanimous decision loss at UFC Fight Night 78. Sanchez has been public about fighting smarter and recognizing that at 34-years of age, he has to take care of his body. That’s what he hinted at in his interviews before his last fight, but it looks like old habits die hard in the Mexican-American competitor because he seems to love to stand and exchange. It could be a coin toss, but even though Miller lost his last fight he’s still trying to fighter smarter fights to climb the rankings.

Most of Sanchez’s losses come by decision and Miller has won eight of his 25 fights that way so he could pull off another one here. It will most likely be a “Fight of the Night” candidate so if you have Fight Pass try to catch this one.


The “Fight of the Night” is probably going to be Diaz vs. McGregor as all eyes have been on those two men on another great card from the UFC. UFC 196, with all the main event shake-ups on short notice, has actually become a pretty big deal since Diaz signed on and sold out completely Friday night according to Dana White’s twitter account.  Who do you have in the main event?

Edward Carbajal is a contributing writer for MMA at Page2sports.com and Frontproof Media. You can follow Edward on Twitter @Carbazel or at his website TheBlogBoardJungle.com. Check out his podcast on Spreaker.

UFC 196 Weigh-in Recap

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