Preparation counts at UFC 202
By Edward Carbajal
With all the delay and controversy after their first bout, UFC 202 main event competitor’s Nate Diaz and Conor McGregor had their second fight. It answered the question about preparation versus talent and showed what focus and determination could produce in Mixed Martial Arts. Regardless of how fans feel about the result, it cannot be denied that it was a damn good fight.
This time, McGregor was efficient with his energy and had similar success in the first round that he had in the first round, of their first fight. Better because he managed to drop Diaz twice with a rear cross. McGregor showed a lot of poise, most fighters would have pounced on their opponent when scoring a hit like that but McGregor wanted none of Diaz on the ground.
It was a smart move too, if you watch the re-play you will see Diaz was already scooting his hips forward to drag McGregor into the deep waters of his Jiu-Jitsu game. The Irish fan-favorite knew to back off instead of continue forward. Against any regular opponent that would have lead to some sort of finish. But, Nate Diaz is not any regular opponent.
The Diaz brothers are known to turn it up in later rounds. That is what makes the bulk of Nick and Nate Diaz’s fights memorable; both men possess the durability of the old samurai warriors they claim to represent. Diaz was cut bad, the Diaz brothers are known to cut above their eyes and treat the trickling blood like sweat.
Nate did that along with middle fingers and taunting the man that usually does the taunting when you could see some of his cardio fade. It was fight indeed in rounds three, four, and five where the exchanges had both men scoring on each other. The fact of the matter is, McGregor scored more. Enough to negate the take-down Diaz got towards the end of the final round.
Watching the fight fans were wondering why Diaz would not bring him to the ground and finish the Irishman where he in vulnerable. Preparation on McGregor’s part mattered more for this second fight of which there is sure to be a third.
“Let’s do it again and let’s do it at 155,” said McGregor during his post fight interview. Diaz wants it again too and truth be told, so do we.
Feature Photo: ZUFFA LLC/Getty Images
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.