And with that win Nate Diaz puts the lightweight and possibly the welterweight division on notice staggering against then turning the fight around to submit Conor McGregor in the second round of their UFC 196 fight. Many MMA fans and oddsmakers had McGregor as the heavy favorite for good reason as McGregor had been on a tear through the featherweight division giving him a lot of power in picking his fights after defeating Jose Aldo in 13 seconds at UFC 194. McGregor got his wish to fight Rafael Dos Anjos at UFC 196 making it a super fight that many fans had been hoping and wishing for as they believed that Conor McGregor could be a two division champion with the defeat of RDA. But things changed quickly as RDA had to pull out of the fight with a foot injury prompting the UFC to find a fast and profitable replacement and out of all the fighters calling out Conor McGregor the right answer was Nate Diaz. With Edson Barboza, Frankie Edgar, Tony Ferguson, Anthony Pettis, Donald Cerrone, and a not ready Jose Aldo wanting his rematch the UFC had options but with the recent win Nate Diaz pulled off over Michael Johnson reigniting more than usual fan interest in the Diaz brother especially after his sincere call out of the brash Irishman.
With McGregor being defeated we’ll just have to say the 170 lb division is probably off the table for ‘Mystic Mac’ for the time being and he’ll have to quite possibly settle for the featherweight and the lightweight division where he can still have a super fight with Rafael Dos Anjos. Which also seems not sp likely since he needs to redeem himself and letting him fight another champion after a loss seems to devalue that whole division. McGregor had plans to even fight Robbie Lawler at one point and time, but no fan is going to really accept that losing to Nate Diaz on a 10 days notice gives any indication that McGregor can fight much less beat someone like Robbie Lawler at this point and time. Lawler not only seems to have more grit, but also have more aggression than Diaz and even without the world class BJJ of Nate Diaz, Lawler would more than give Mcgregor and even Diaz a run for their money in the striking department. Which right now seems more than McGregor can handle after the display he put on with a very game Nate Diaz. To the credit of McGregor he was able to withstand a lot more than most fighters standing across from Nate Diaz with their hands down and Diaz threw everything his way but a few F-bombs and middle fingers.
A loss most definitely slows down the McGregor hype train, but it doesn’t derail it as it just shows that maybe he’s not ready for a step up to the heavier weight classes in the UFC just yet, more than it shows his lack of skill. And that’s not a bad thing at all as Mcgregor was a champion in Cage Warriors at lightweight, there might that be much of a stark difference in skill between the two organizations. This just gives the brash Irishman the chance to do what lies before him in the first place which is defend his belt, clear out his division, and then win another belt. Maybe this was the wake-up call that he needed to tell that his marketing is outpacing even his own extraordinary skill. As the more he refines both the bigger his value will be, but the value of Conor McGregor to himself and the UFC definitely cannot take another loss like he did to Nate Diaz.