McGregor’s Evolution

In the sport of MMA, evolution has now become a key to staying at an elite level and Conor McGregor displayed his own evolution at UFC 202. Known for his spectacular knockouts, McGregor was much more conservative in his game plan and stuck to it perfectly in his rematch vs. Nate Diaz. Instead of immediately going for the kill, Conor used a simple approach of highly effective techniques in order to counter Diaz’s boxing-heavy style. Using left power kicks early on in the bout, McGregor was able to hinder Diaz’s movement greatly because Nate has a tendency to stand heavy on his front foot. McGregor was so effective in landing leg kicks that he broke his own record of leg kicks landed 44 and leg kick accuracy 90%. In rounds one and two, McGregor had dropped Diaz three times but was wise enough to keep his distance and not engage Nate on the ground. Although McGregor had brought in Dillon Danis, a three time BJJ world champion he knew in order to not gas himself out he had to keep the fight standing.

But round three belonged to Nate Diaz, with most fans and one judge scoring it 10–8. Diaz turned it into a dog fight up against the fence, ripping shots to the body and showing off fabulous technique especially in his uppercuts and knees. Nate’s use of advancing while covering up then throwing double jab and 1 2 combos became highly effective which caused Conor to hold onto Nate when wrestling against the cage. After being battered the round before, Mystic Mac caught a second wind by keeping to his game plan. Conor used his lateral movement and counter punching to his advantage in order keep Nate on the outside. The fifth and final round clearly belonged to Diaz. Nate poured on the pressure and stayed busy, a key to finishing five round fights in the eyes of the judges.

Although the decision went in favor of McGregor, the public however did not see eye-to-eye with the judges scoring the contest. With two judges scoring 47–48 for McGregor and one 47–47, we can only hope a third contest will happen in the near future. Nate and Conor would both like to have a trilogy fight, but Conor demands it take place at 155 pounds instead of 170. In the post-fight interview McGregor said, “Like what my coach says, “You win or you learn,” and I learned from our last contest.”

To view pictures from the fight, check out this story by USA Today Sports:


UFC 202 Post Show
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