ROUNDTABLE: Expectations for the Conor McGregor-Nate Diaz rematch at UFC 202

Conor McGregor vs. Nate Diaz (photo credit J. Rebilas © USA Today Sports)

Conor McGregor vs. Nate Diaz II is finally official for UFC 202 in August. What do you expect to see from that rematch?


It’s hard to know what to expect out of the rematch. Why didn’t McGregor’s power come with him to 170 lbs? Did his power abandon him due to improper reverse weight cutting? Or is he just too small of a human being to fight at 170 in the most elite promotion in the world? No excuses remain for him come August 20; either he regains his lost power and stomps down on Diaz like a game of whack-a-mole at the promenade of a Six Flags, or we see the same damn fight we saw the first time. While I’m not sure exactly what will happen, for some reason I find myself not all that curious, either.


I’m basing my expectations solely on the fact that McGregor was so insistent on fighting Diaz again – and at 170lbs. again – so I think McGregor is going to finish Diaz in the second round. There’s no logical reason for this, but when a guy is this laser-focused, there has to be a reason for it. Obviously McGregor feels as though the first fight wasn’t truly indicative of what he can do. I should go with Diaz by submission in the third round or something, but I can’t. I’m going with my gut, and my gut tells me that McGregor wins. It’s possible that McGregor wins a decision, but I think he pulls it off and finishes Diaz in spectacular fashion. I could easily be completely wrong here, but I’m going with my gut on this one.


Nate beat Conor at the mental game when he choked him out. It’s more of a mental rebound factor for McGregor, and staying on the path for Diaz. Nate can beat him again and he walked through almost all of his offense. It’s not a good trajectory and it totally sucks for the entire featherweight division to be waiting on the outcome of a grudge match outside of the division with no bearing on the title picture.


That first fight sets a fascinating stage for the rematch. McGregor was piecing McGregor up on the feet, bloodying him up badly and doing significant damage through the first round and a half. The big question mark on him into this one is if he can sustain that beyond the seven minute mark with a different approach to competing at 170 lbs. Can he develop more power for that weight class in just five months? He’s the one with the adjustments to make, as we know exactly what Diaz can and did do even on short notice. With a full camp and at full condition Diaz might be even harder to put away, making that a bigger obstacle as well for McGregor. With the booking of Aldo-Edgar in July, this was the only fight to make, and we’ll find out come August 20 whether or not McGregor can get his vengeance.

[Photo (c) Mark J. Rebilas via USA Today Sports]

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