(Photo Credit: Esther Lin/MMA Fighting)
Nate Diaz proved to be too tall of an order for featherweight champion Conor McGregor. The Stockton slugger took the very best punches “Notorious” threw at him in the opening frame of their UFC 196 main event and paid the price. However, that was just a ploy to get McGregor to expend his energy just enough so that Diaz could pounce and be more aggressive.
Ultimately, he ended up choking out the Irishman on the mat, giving Diaz his eighth Octagon victory by way of submission. Diaz cashed in at McGregor’s expense, earning himself a nice bargaining chip.
Now $600,000 richer, the former lightweight title challenger can plot out a course at 170 pounds, or 155 pounds. For me, personally, I would prefer to see him fight at lightweight, just because that’s where he’s had the most success. Diaz is 11-6 as a lightweight, compared to 2-2 at welterweight.
With that being said, if UFC president Dana White decides to give him a title shot in the division of his choosing, I would rather see him contend with 170-pound brawler Robbie Lawler. Lawler’s style of combat meshes well with Diaz’s volatile mixture of chaos on the feet and on the ground.
A dance with former foe, 155-pound champion Rafael dos Anjos, might not work out so well for him. But then again, Diaz was apparently not healthy for that tilt, which took place in Dec. 2014.
Fun fact: Nick, the elder Diaz brother, knocked out “Ruthless” way back in April 2004. Lawler vs. Diaz, book it.
I said prior to the women’s bantamweight championship match between Holly Holm and Miesha Tate that this would be the most entertaining fight on the whole card and for the most part it was.
Tate hung tough throughout their co-main event affair and nearly ended the tussle in round two with a rear-naked choke. That was arguably her finest round of the fight as most believed Holm clearly took rounds one, three and four. It was then do or die for “Cupcake” as she pulled off the miraculous submission, which “The Preacher’s Daughter” couldn’t defend with 90 second left in the bout.
As heartbreaking as it was for Holm’s camp and family, it at least provided a great backdrop for Tate, who was originally pegged to face Ronda Rousey before Holm did, to challenge “Rowdy” later this year. White confirmed it with FOX Sports after the event was over and had to tell Rousey who won the fight because the latter was not watching it live.
Rousey’s response to him: “Back to work.” We’ll see you soon Rousey.
It will be Tate’s third dance with Glendale Fight Club member. She fell to Rousey via first-round armbar in 2012 and once more, via third-round armbar, a year later.
Written by Brad Popkin