It is amazing to think it is five year’s to the day that a sold-out crowd at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas experienced an iconic bout between the ‘The Stockton Slugger’ and ‘The Notorious’ in the Octagon.
Going into their first encounter on March 5, 2016 Conor McGregor was seen as the poster boy of UFC and was chasing a second world title after producing a truly memorable knockout of featherweight and pound-for-pound great Jose Aldo in just 13 seconds.
Nate Diaz, meanwhile, had also come off a hugely impressive display by dispatching Michael Johnson via a unanimous decision.
It was his comments post fight, however, that Diaz truly laid the foundations for what would go onto be one of UFC’s most intense feuds.
In his post fight promo, Diaz said:
“Conor McGregor, you’re taking everything I worked for motherf*cker, I’m gonna fight your f*ckin’ ass.
“You know what’s the real fight, what’s the real money fight.”
What added to the intrigue of this bout was the weight, which McGregor was going to have to put on in his preparation for this encounter.
The Irishman would have to leapfrog two weight divisions to take on the American at welterweight.
The decision to add that extra 25Ibs would prove costly for ‘The Nortorious.’ Diaz proved too much of a challenge for McGregor to dispatch with his powerful strikes, which had previously brought him so much success in previous fights.
In addition, the Irishman’s over eagerness in looking for the finish would prove to be his undoing. McGregor had actually begun the fight well with powerful strikes to Diaz’s head and body in the opening round.
It was the second round of the bout that ‘The Stockton Slugger’ was able to find his range. Following a scramble on the ground between the competitors, Diaz was able to lock in a rear naked choke, which ultimately led to McGregor tapping out.
McGregor subsequently went back to the dressing room and in his film ‘The Notorious’ it reflects how the Irishman struggles to come to terms with his first ever loss in the sport. McGregor then commented:
“At one stage I caught him with a clean uppercut but he was just always there in me face.
“I p****** out I did. I p****** out of my breath… It is what it is, ya win some ya lose some… he can take a few smacks he can the c***.”
‘The Notorious’ would, however, go on to exact his revenge in a rematch at UFC 202 on Diaz and he also went on to become UFC’s first ever double champion after knocking out Eddie Alvarez at UFC 205.
The question remains, whether or not McGregor can recover from his most recent set back?
Having lost to Dustin Poirier at UFC 257 preparations are being made already for a trilogy encounter between ‘The Notorious’ and ‘The Diamond’ this summer.
Can the Irishman replicate his recovery from five years ago?News Now - Sport News