UFC featherweight champion Conor McGregor has a tall task ahead of him at UFC 202, in every respect of the word. Facing the much larger Nate Diaz in a rematch of their UFC 196 thriller, the Irishman will have to overcome not only a height and reach disadvantage, but also a pretty large gap in terms of grappling skills that proved to be the fight ending factor on March 5. After a crazy first round, Diaz wobbled McGregor on the feet, forcing the predominant striker to go for an ill fated takedown.
From there the fight was as good as over, the black belt under Cesar Gracie wrapped up his man after landing some mounted ground and pound, locking in a rear naked choke that forced the tap in mere seconds. So began the well deserved and full blown media arrival of Nate Diaz. Their colorful rivalry was far from over though.
Just weeks after their first fight, Diaz and ‘The Notorious’ were paired for another showdown at UFC 200. The fight would later fall apart as McGregor would dodge the first press conference for the event, but soon after the two were scheduled for UFC 202 in Las Vegas on August 20. The obvious questions surrounding the chances of McGregor facing Diaz at welterweight once again were addressed quite well by UFC commentator Joe Rogan recently:
The time for a rematch is now, when I say exposed I don’t mean he’s not talented, but he’s human and he can be beaten. But then he goes on Twitter saying stuff like ‘the first eight minutes were easy,’ hmmm. That doesn’t matter, the last three were a lot worse, you got f*cked up man, you gotta accept that.”
“I think stylistically it’s a troublesome fight for (McGregor). Nate’s grappling is a world away from Conor right now, his cardio is insane and he is so tough, so where is Conor shining?”
So how does Conor McGregor address this rather apparent set of holes in his game? Well it looks like the Irish star is well aware of his need to up his game for the rematch, and has brought in some high level training partners for the second instalment with Diaz.
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Conor McGregor has enlisted the help of not only BJJ blackbelt and world champion Dillon Danis, but also the Irish Olympic boxers Michael Conlan and Conor Wallace to assist with his UFC 202 training camp. Here’s the images from Instagram: