UFC 202 The Gameplan: Nate Diaz vs Conor McGregor 2
Throughout the lead up to the biggest fight of the summer Diaz vs McGregor 2, within journalism one dynamic I have noticed is the amount of fight prediction articles. While I have written my fair share I have thought of a new concept. ” The Gameplan”. What should the game plan be for both Nate Diaz and Conor McGregor at UFC 202.
Well let me tell you. While I must admit I am not the Greg Jackson or Firas Zahabi in terms of forming the perfect game plan for a fighter, I have learned a thing or two along the way, being a fan of the sport and watching thousands upon thousands of fights. Like what to do and what NOT to do. So let’s get started. In this article I will etch out what I feel is the “perfect gameplan” for both Nate Diaz and Conor McGregor as Mike Goldberg would say AND HERE WE GO!
Nate Diaz: The first fight ended in perfect fashion for Nate Diaz as he won in the 2nd round via rear naked choke. But on the feet for the better part of the 1st round Diaz was getting peppered with uppercuts and jabs from the Irishman— in particular a hard straight left hand on several occasions. Nate has to avoid those shots because unlike the first fight, McGregor’s punches will not be coming in one-two combinations but two-three combinations. The name of the game for Nate Diaz is footwork and distance. To win this fight he has to keep McGregor at bay, forcing Conor to essentially reach to land his punches, while waiting for the right moment to work Conor in the clinch. On the ground the advantage Nate holds over Conor is night and day but if he is too battered and beaten by the time the first clinch fest ensues Nate could be in serious trouble. As the round initially wears on, Nate’s biggest strength would be to counter and move. Nate needs to make Conor come to him which will be an easy task because McGregor likes to control the pace of the fight by moving forward and fighting with his opponent against the cage which minimizes his distance between his opponent and lets him land that potent left hand. Only problem is that Diaz’ best strength is to trade in the pocket but Diaz’ strategy should be simple. Counter and move, let the fight play itself out and when given the chance take it to the ground.
Conor McGregor: As I alluded to above, McGregor got off to a fantastic start in the first fight landing a series of combinations on Diaz. Though with every combination McGregor paid the price. If you were to sit down and re-watch the first fight you would see a few wild spinning head kicks missing Nate Diaz completely. Conor was not 100% accurate but his volume of punches and kicks were 100%. That has to change this time. This time Conor has to pick his punches and kicks. Rather than forcing his punches he needs to he laid back and pick apart Diaz one punch at a time. This strategy will allow McGregor to continue his pace of moving forward and forcing his opponent to move backwards. This time though McGregor needs to pick his angles and his punches and pace himself much better. Will we see this? I am not sure especially with all of the pre-fight hatred between both of these men. I know for certain that if he can fight this way rather than the overly aggressive and emotional 1st round or bust style, I suspect a much better performance from the Irishman.
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