MONDAY NEWS DIGEST 9/19: Diaz “fight strategy” to fall on purpose could have cost him fight, Punk opponent volunteers lining up, Gustafsson vs. Nogueira

By Michael Hiscoe, MMATorch contributor

Conor McGregor vs. Nate Diaz at UFC 202 (photo Joshua Dahl © USA Today)


Nate Diaz has always been a go against the grain kind of guy, but taking that approach in the cage may have been a step too far.
On a recent edition of “The Joe Rogan Experience” podcast, Brendan Schaub shared a conversation he had with Nate Diaz shortly after his fight with Conor McGregor at UFC 202, and Diaz claimed he was pretending to be hurt by McGregor’s punches. (Transcript via Bloody Elbow)
“I saw Nate at the grocery store randomly, he said he was falling on purpose to dupe Conor. He says, ‘I know the first three rounds, he’s so fast and he will be tough, so when he hit me, the plan was to fall down to get him to follow me down.’ He says, ‘I couldn’t take him down, so the plan was to get me follow me down there.'”
Diaz was knocked down twice early in the second round of said fight, a round that McGregor won on all three judges’ cards, but Diaz came on strong late in the round, enough where there was an argument to give the round to Diaz. If Diaz had not been knocked down in that round, chances are the round would have been scored for Diaz and he would have won the decision. If Diaz was going down on purpose to bait McGregor, it didn’t work, and it likely cost him the fight.

As Joe Rogan has famously said, “You don’t play games in the Octagon.”

Hiscoe’s Analysis: Nate Diaz says a lot of things, so there’s a good chance he’s just trying to save face here. If he’s telling the truth and that was his strategy, it wasn’t a smart one. Effective striking is the first criteria when judging a round and there isn’t a more clear indicator of effective striking than knocking a guy on his ass with a punch. When I looked back at the fight quickly after hearing about this, it doesn’t look like Diaz was feigning the knockdown so I think he’s just telling stories here.


-Alexander Gustafsson vs. Antonio Rogerio Nogueira is slated to headline the UFC Fight Night from Sao Paolo, Brazil on Nov. 19, reports BloodyElbow. The event will serve as the second part of a doubleheader that day along with a Fight Pass show from Belfast, Northern Ireland.

-Duke Roufus told Sherdog that he’s getting calls from a “plethora of promoters” to try to get C.M. Punk for his second MMA fight. Punk is still listed on the UFC active fighter roster and has not been released, although Dana White has said that Punk’s next fight should take place outside UFC.

-Amanda Cooper vs. Anna Elmose has been announced for Fight Night Belfast on Nov. 19 in a strawweight fight.

NOW CHECK OUT YESTERDAY’S DAILY NEWS DIGEST: SUNDAY NEWS DIGEST 9/18: Fight Night’s well-deserved bonuses for Dunham-Glenn, Skelly, Johnson, plus McGregor, Punk, UFC 203 (w/Hiscoe’s Analysis)

(MMATorch’s Daily News Digest features the top story of the day with added analysis, plus smaller tidbits in the News Notes section. Mike Hiscoe has a background in film criticism and previously wrote for the DVD Town and Movie Metropolis websites. His passion for Mixed Martial Arts goes back to 2005, but it was in the promotion for UFC 60: Hughes vs. Gracie that he really got hooked.”This is my house, I build it,” is still among the all-time great UFC promos. You can follow Mike on social media under the tag @mikehiscoe. He now provides his experienced writing and perspective on live MMA events for MMATorch.)

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