“I don’t think the difference between us in that fight was the jiu-jitsu; I think it was the durability, the endurance, the experience. I think that was the difference. When we were both fresh, I ended up in the mat and caught that kick and he did that takedown he does, and I swept him… I am confident on the mat with Nate. After that, I’ve brought in heavier people, more experienced jiu-jitsu people, to come in and push me daily. I will be experienced for his jiu-jitsu in the later rounds.”
-Conor McGregor talks about the ground game matchup in his rematch with Nate Diaz at UFC 202 during a media conference call (transcribed by Champions.co).
Penick’s Analysis: In addition to the late notice of that first fight, McGregor had been training for a very different style of fighter in Rafael dos Anjos. Preparing specifically for Diaz this time around may make things very different when they’re in the cage. It makes the rematch quite intriguing stylistically because what we saw in that first fight may not be at all what we get in the second.
[Photo (c) Mark J. Rebilas via USA Today Sports]
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