This Saturday night in the must-see main event at UFC 196, it will come to pass, that one Conor Anthony McGregor, aka “The Notorious,” shall fall from the lofty heights of his self-made Olympus.

The catalyst in this cataclysmic and mesmeric descent from grace will be none other than one half of the infamous 209 sons; Nathan Donald Diaz, the Stocktonian brawler.

Current featherweight kingpin McGregor (19-2 MMA, 7-0 UFC) had originally been slated to lock horns with incumbent lightweight titlist Rafael dos Anjos in a champion versus champion super fight. But, as the MMA gods from up on high would have it, dos Anjos pulled out after incurring a foot injury whilst training.

Thusly, the card was set for the knacker’s yard, however, the same MMA gods whom had nixed the aforementioned event suddenly showed their hand; a royal flush in the guise of 30-year-old #6 ranked lightweight resident Nate Diaz. Where others had dithered, Nick Diaz’ lil bro, with only eleven days’ notice courageously stepped up to the plate. Alas, the day was saved. The card was saved.

Nevertheless, the fight itself is being fought at 170 lbs., rather than the stipulated weight of 155 pounds.

The fight no less is as real as it gets. Don’t be fooled by the rodomontade between MMA’s top-two rabble-rousers—bragging rights aside, these two cats mean business, like “moneyweight” fight business.

McGregor, 27, is the odds on favourite to take home yet another UFC win. “Mystic Mac” has even called upon his all-seeing eye to cast its gaze over the outcome of March 5.
The eyes prediction? A first-round knockout victory—obviously in his favour. If that’s the case, Diaz might as well not turn up on fight night.

Hold your horses for a minute; the aforesaid romp isn’t set in stone; not by a long shot.

McGregor, a former two-weight CWFC champion might’ve turned the MMA world on its head with his 13-second blitzing of Jose Aldo, but he’s never faced a Diaz (18-10 MMA, 13-8 UFC) before, a Diaz nonetheless, who is coming off a fulgurant unanimous decision victory over heralded Michael Johnson. Oh, there’s also the small matter of him never having thrown down at welterweight.

So, will the promotions star attraction retain his speed and power after jumping two weight classes? How will he react when he feels the weight and power of Diaz who’s actually fought at 170 pounds? All will be revealed under the bright lights of the MGM Grand, Las Vegas.

Albeit McGregor’s primarily a striker (17 KOs/TKOs in 19 victories), and although Diaz has only four knockouts/technical knockouts to his name, the Irishman will be throwing hands with someone from the same neck of the woods. Furthermore, Diaz, a BJJ black belt, boasts eleven submissions, as well as a record eight (tied with Frank Mir and Kenny Florian) submissions in the UFC alone.

Diaz is at home both on his feet and/or the ground. If McGregor’s showing against Chad Mendes is anything to go by, the latter attribute is in fact his Achilles Heel.

If they do elect to play this on their feet, it should make for interesting viewing. Both are southpaws as well as technically adept; Diaz employs pressure and volume punching in his attacks. Conversely, McGregor utilizes deft footwork and his go-to weapon of choice, the straight left.

When all is said and done, despite McGregor’s knockout percentage, Diaz has only ever been stopped once; via TKO. Even so, expect the Cesar Gracie fighter to go all out Stockton brawler style whilst attempting to temper the Irish avalanche.

Still and all, the smart money is on Diaz looking to somehow get the fight to the mat where he can inflict the most damage. It should be noted, that both “The Notorious'” losses have come by way of submission. He’ll succumb for a third time.

The last time Diaz locked in and executed a submission (Jim Miller) was way back in May 2012. He’s definitely overdue one; the occasion merits it.

Prediction: Diaz via submission; Olympus has Fallen.

About The Author

Nedu Obi

Nedu graduated from London Metropolitan University and has a Bachelor's Degree in Creative Writing and Media Studies. He is a fervent freelance writer/blogger and a wordsmith provocateur. His hobbies/interests are centred on MMA, Boxing, Football, Current Events and the Arts. He’s also a keen roller skater and marshals for the LFNS (London Friday Night Skate). "Political language -- and with variations this is true of all political parties, from Conservatives to Anarchists -- is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable, and to give an appearance of solidity to pure wind". - George Orwell