The 2 things in question are as follows:
1. Weight classes exist for a reason.
2. Styles make fights, not MMA Math.
Now let’s break this down.
1. Weight classes exist for a reason.
Conor McGregor fights (and is the champion) at 145lbs, the featherweight division. He looks dried up and borderline anorexic making the weight cut limit, however come fight night he rules the division. Before his fight with Nate, social media was flooded with then and now pictures of Conor looking noticeably bigger compared to his concenteration camp-esque physique when having to make the 145lbs limit. The expectation was that McGregor will transfer his Muhamad Ali/Ninja movement and speed 2 weight classes up and physics will do the rest(mo’ mass = mo’ powah). However, Conor was of no such luck. His speed and quick movement started to slow down as the first round of the fight began to end and Nate Diaz, fighting mearly 1 weight class above the one he fights in regularly was taking everything Conor had to throw and showed no signs of slowing down. As the second round started, Conor’s much loved and talked about fancy movement was gone never to be seen again. He was a walking target for Nate Diaz’s boxing and slapping. After a back and forth exange betweent the two, Nate landed a let straight that Conor could not shake of and before he knew it, Conor was diving for a takedown. Nate wasted no time and sunk in a rear naked choke putting a stop to Conor McGregor.
Where am I going with all of this you ask yourself? Well. I’m glad you ask. My point is that simply adding more muscle doesn’t automatically solve all your problems. In the post fight conference, Nate said that he came into this figth “straight (of a)fat boy of the beach of Cabo”. So, Nate Diaz not only dismantled Conor McGregor, but he did it with; zero proper sparring sessions, zero fight camp preparations, zero time to make a proper weight cut AND still outperformed a heavy favorited champion. That’s one hell of a statement to make.
Remember, Nate doesn’t even fight at welterweight. Yes, he’s been on a tear lately, but at lightweight. And as great of a fighter as he is, he isn’t winning a belt anytime soon.
I firmly belive that Conor’s liighweight and welterweight story isn’t finished just yet. He can still fight outside his weighclass and score big wins. However, Conor’s dream of being a 3 division champion by years end has come to a full stop, for now. His main focus should now be on defending the belt at 145lbs, as he still has unfinished buisness there. With Frankie Edgar doing everything short of coming to Conor’s house with a ref and Jose Aldo still demanding an immediate rematch and even Max Holloway wanting a piece of McGregor pie, he has his hands full.
2. Styles make fights, not MMAth.
MMA is a crazy sport. Overeem was once a middleweight, Rumble Johnson fought at welterweight and Joe Riggs was a heavyweight who now fights at welterweight. With all these fighters going up and down in weight you get crazy match ups from time to time. These crazy match ups are then often used, in internet arguments, to prove fighter A is better than fighter B through common denominators(other fighters). The art of using those statiscts as facts in arguments is called MMA math. Think of it as MMA‘s six degrees of Kevin Bacon. If we were to belive MMA math, Conor McGregor would have Nate Diaz beaten through mear 2 fighters and Ronda Rousey, Meisha Tate and Holly Holm would be stuck in an endless loop.
Same goes for Conor and Nate. Conor is a huge featherweight who has a size and reach advantage over most of the fighters in his division. His favorite weapon is his trash talk, that he uses to get into his opponent’s minds and defeat them before the fight even starts. His most famous in octagon asset would be his much talked about movement. He’s a precision striker who utilizes his speed and movement to deliver punishment and get out of range of receving the same.Thankfully, MMAth is rarely correct. Fighting style is the real factor when booking fights and breaking down the odds of certain fighter winning a fight. For instance: Holly’s primary go to weapon in mma is her stand up. Keeping that in mind, it isn’t hard to see how Miesha being a durable wrestler/grappler possesed a bigger threat to Holly than Ronda, who’s primary weapon is her judo. Ronda on the other hand has proven twice to be the perfect fighting style needed to beat Miesha Tate. Likewise, Holly’s stand up and good enough defensive grappling skills were more than enough to beat Ronda who’s never faced a fighter with kicboxing and boxing credentials as rich as Holm’s.
Nate Diaz, much like his brother Nick, is an endurance fighter. An endurance fighter with great stand up and a very good ground game. He also utilizes a trash talking game much like the Irishman. The deciding factor here is size, which brings us back to my first point. Had the fight been at lightweight or featherweight Conor’s precision punching and movement could have been the deciding factor. However the fight was scheduled at welterweight and Nate was the bigger fighter with the longer reach and heavyer punches. Thusly outlasting Conor McGregor and finishing him.