Nate Diaz is a brave man to take on knockout artist Conor McGregor at short notice, after agreeing to replace the Irishman’s original opponent Rafael dos Anos with ten days’ notice.
‘Notorious’ is 1/5 favourite to move up to 170lbs and beat the 7/2 underdog, who is three inches taller than him and boasts a reach advantage.
Many pundits have observed that Diaz won’t be able to train for anything like ten days for the fight either, given the media commitments surrounding the throwdown.
As a result of this lack of preparation, as well McGregor’s knack for stopping the majority of his UFC foes to date within the first round (his last bout against Jose Aldo lasted just 13 seconds), their brawl is just 87/100 to be over in under 1.5 rounds.
Yet, despite the Stockton, California native’s lack of preparation time there is reason to suspect that Diaz might be able to reward those who back him to go over one and half stanzas.
Firstly is the fact that Diaz has been knocked out just once in a 28-fight MMA career, despite sustaining no fewer than ten losses and fighting multiple times against far more genuine 170lb opponents than McGregor.
His chin has answered 26 of the 28 questions asked of it in their entirety, with just one other loss inside the distance, a submission ‘L’ to Hermes Franca back in 2006, on his CV.
The Irishman’s striking game is as fearsome as anything in UFC right now, but Diaz should still fancy his chances of lasting past the 1.5-round mark.
Less well-discussed is the potential for McGregor’s move up to 170lb, after contesting his last bout at the 145lb limit, to slow his reflexes.
Again this may afford the half-fit, but more natural 170lb’er Diaz a greater chance of avoiding membership of the Dublin brusier’s list of one-round victims.