Six things to know about Conor McGregor's new opponent Nate Diaz
Following confirmation that McGregor will now fight Diaz at UFC 196 following Rafael Dos Anjos' foot injury, here are six facts about the 30-year-old American.
The welterweight bout will headline UFC 196 on March 5 at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, with Diaz the less-known quantity in the fight against the all-conquering Irishman.
1. Diaz has lost five times as many fights as McGregor
The Notorious boasts an MMA fighting record of 19-2-0, while Diaz’s own record reads 18-10-0 (stats via Sherdog.com). While the majority (17) of McGregor’s wins have been knockouts/TKOs, his opponent’s victories have come largely from submissions (11).
2. He is classed as a lightweight fighter
The lightweight division (155 pounds) is Diaz’s known weight class, the same class in which McGregor was to fight Rafael dos Anjos for the lightweight title. However, the UFC 196 main event will be a welterweight bout, the upper weight limit being 170 pounds (25 pounds above McGregor’s featherweight fight against Jose Aldo). 6’0” Diaz also boasts a height advantage over the Irishman, who stands at 5’8”.
3. Diaz called out McGregor following his last fight
After beating Michael Johnson in a unanimous decision in December 2015, Diaz went on an expletive-laden rant in an attempt to secure a fight against the Notorious:
Here it is everyone— MMA History Today (@MMAHistoryToday) December 20, 2015
Here is Nate Diaz's uncensored speech... pic.twitter.com/ZtU4RISitT
The Californian is no stranger to trash talk, with beaten opponent Johnson admitting post-fight to MMAJunkie that Diaz “sucked him in” by firing abuse at him in the octagon. It will be interesting to see who comes out on top in the inevitable war of words between McGregor and Diaz.
Middleweight figher Derek Brunson summed up the likely events of the next 10 days:
McGregor vs Diaz is official. Can we start the interviews/ trash talk already. Gonna be epic #UFC196— Derek Brunson (@DerekBrunson) February 24, 2016
I can see it now, Diaz sticking up middle fingers and McGregor screaming "I'll change your bum life" 😂 #UFC196— Derek Brunson (@DerekBrunson) February 24, 2016
4. He was previously defeated by Dos Anjos
The Brazilian, whose broken foot means that he cannot compete at UFC 196, emerged victorious over Diaz in a unanimous judges’ decision in December 2014.
5. His older brother is also a UFC fighter
32-year-old Nick Diaz’s last fight came against UFC legend Anderson Silva in January 2015, where he was unanimously defeated before the fight was called as a no-contest due to both fighters failing drug tests. The no-contest was the third time the elder Diaz brother failed a drug test for marijuana metabolite.
6. He is seen as a big underdog going into UFC 196
Irish bookmaker Paddy Power rate featherweight champion McGregor as 1/4 favourite for the main event fight, with Diaz’s odds as high as 11/4. In Diaz’s previous bout with Johnson, his opponent was more than a 3/1 favourite yet the 30-year-old came out on top.