Heading into his boxing match against Floyd Mayweather, Conor McGregor was no doubt on top of the MMA world. The previous year, he had defeated Nate Diaz in one of the greatest fights in MMA history followed by becoming the first fighter to ever hold two championship belts simultaneously in different weight classes. McGregor’s history was further amplified by the fact that he won the second title in the UFC’s first event in Madison Square Garden at UFC 205 when he defeated Eddie Alvarez for the lightweight championship.
But there was one dark spot to McGregor’s 2016, and it’s one that Nate Diaz believes Floyd Mayweather shined an extensive light on prior to boxing McGregor.
Nate Diaz Claims He Provided the Formula to Defeat McGregor
Conor McGregor’s first loss in the UFC came at the hands of Nate Diaz at UFC 196. McGregor got off to a very strong start in the bout, landing heavy shots and dropping Diaz, but by the second round, McGregor had punched himself out to a point where Diaz was able to take over with relative ease prior to submitting the Irishman in the second round. Diaz believes that Floyd Mayweather took note of his strategy and that the praise McGregor received for his efforts were unwarranted.
“I think he did horrible,” Diaz told ESPN of McGregor’s performance against Mayweather. “He did everything (that) these boxers, and I, and everybody thought he would do. He went in there, made him punch himself out, and got knocked out. He didn’t learn from what happened when I fought him. I think Floyd Mayweather and them watched the blueprint right there on how to beat him. They’re like, ‘OK, go make him punch himself out and then finish him off.’
“So right when (the Mayweather fight) started, that’s exactly what was happening…He ran up on him like I ran up on him, made him punch himself out, finished him off, and Conor took the bait. So I didn’t think he did a good job at all.”
Nate Diaz also believes that Dustin Poirier followed the same blueprint to defeat McGregor: weather the storm and then pull away for the finish. Prior to Poirier, it was Mayweather who capitalized on the same McGregor pattern. And when you trace it back to the beginning, Diaz says that you’ll find that the original architect is the man built from the streets of Stockton.
Do you believe the way Nate Diaz defeated Conor McGregor helped shape Floyd Mayweather’s gameplan in his 2017 boxing match against McGregor?