Ok, so what have we learned this weekend? Well, basically everything I said about Conor was true positives and negatives great offense lacking defense and a brown purplish belt on the mats. Secondly, we learned that Renzo Gracie is always right when he makes a pick about one of his black belts current students. Oh and if you don’t train in a combat art please leave your comment to yourself about Nate and Conor ESPN and ESPN First Take specifically need to stop talking fighting like they know what’s up. End of discussion Frankie, Aldo, Chad at 145 RDA Pettis Cowboy at 155, if you say Robbie at 170 he might turn into wolverine and slice you into thirds.
Okay so all that’s out of the way what happened in this fight was literally that old skool noise and new skool noise mixing together. Nate and Conor both through lead leg stomping side kicks and front kicks to each other lead leg Conor through a lot of capoeira Meia Lua and front traditional kicks and a lead leg roundhouse, when he wasn’t getting trigger happy and kind of demoralized with his left hand. Nate stayed boxing landing that right jab left straight and came down clean with his right hook, that combination was tagging up Conor when he would only land one left hand, classic Diaz. The other thing was what I made a point of talking about in my breakdowns leading up to the bout, Diaz has an unbelievable tank on him which adds to his chin. Conor is very right that power and muscling punches is not how he knocks guys out he has full body awareness when he throws that left cross rotation from the core flexion out of the hips pivot on the balls of his feet and loose open shoulders, the issue here was that Diaz spars with guys that do that with every punch in pro boxers like Andre Ward. The other problem was the superior boxing and movement displayed by Diaz in the 2nd round it wasn’t one shot like Conor was landing it was multiple shots again classic Diaz no question. That crispy 2 piece he hit Conor with that stunned him was classic high-level boxing basics and again something Diaz is a master at doing.
Now for the mental thing, before we talk about that finish, people around the world were split when it came to who was winning that out of ring fight. People thought that it was Conor winning because of how that 1st round was going but if you really watch those hands of Nate Diaz you will see him not punching Conor with a closed fist on those exit check hooks you see him hitting him with the Stockton Slap which was angering Conor. You may say he was staying calm but that doesn’t explain why he was so trigger happy with that left hand maybe because he thought he could get Nate out of there and fell for that trap like some many people do. The trap was set from 2 different angles the harshness of the slap and because Nate has that cardio, pressure, and chin. Hence, you see Conor take that deep breath after missing another Meia Lua or 2 point heel kick. If Nate sees you take a deep breath he knows he’s maxed out your pressure and can then drown you from there. Cardio is King and will always be that way after you have a certain amount of technical mastery.
Now for that ending Nate is a black belt under one of the finest teachers ever in Cesar Gracie and he works with Rickson and Kron Gracie (enough said there), Jake Shields, “Giblert” I can’t help myself it still funny to me Reebok, and Nick Diaz. Before that was the boxing showcase, doubled up on the 2 piece (1, 2 or jab cross twice). Personally, I thought Nate was gonna starch him after I saw the first time Conor got rocked he looked like a guy that had never been shaken before and tried to play it off before Nate smothered him. Conor shoots a weird high hips diving double leg that everyone that grapples just shook their heads at. There was no elevation change from his hips so that was kind of a given that Nate was gonna reverse and pass from there. Okay now for the fun part, not that I take enjoyment in seeing people lose that’s not me I just love seeing problem-solving on the highest level and I still love Conor. Okay, so what made me take pause was Nates transitions, something Conor was saying in the lead up was Nate has no body position awareness on the mat which could not be more wrong. I suspect that because of his training with Kron and Rickson, Rickson specifically has been spewing this knowledge for years of no space. Once Nate got the control position from his back with that high elbow Marcelo Garcia Guillotine there was no space there, and then from side control into mount he sliced through no hand pass knee on belly and just cut through like a knife through butter. There was no gap for Conor to be able to slip an arm or hand throw that’s the movement he’s lacking, that’s what Nate was addressing in the press conferences and on UFC embedded when referencing Rickson Gracie as the real guy that mastered that area of combat. Nate tenderized Conor from the mount something his frame allows from full mount, because of his long limbs and long torso something I don’t really condone because of how much power you can generate from half guard or side control for instance. Conor did what so many fighting black belts like Ralph Gracie say will happen to a lot of BJJ players you punch them once they drop a belt rank you punch them again and again until they turn into a white belt and give you their back. Once Conor went on all fours it was a wrap well it was a wrap when he shot on Nate but there was no coming back after Nate collected the neck.
Should anyone be that surprised that Nate won, well like he said he wasn’t and everyone that gave him a chance win this fight was announced knew he could do i, but this funny thing in MMA media is happening where they get infatuated by a star and even if they have holes in their game like glaring hole the media members will not acknowledge them and then lead mainstream fans to think there the next Mighty Mouse Jon Jones GSP or Anderson Silva. So what does this mean for Conor now, well simple Frankie’s waiting for what he’s rightfully earned a shot at Conor before he moves up to 155lbs and Frankie goes down to 135lbs? What is enticing about that fight is Conor goes back down where his power carries a big stick, but if you thought Nate had a chin and cardio you must not remember those Maynard fights Edgar had back in the day. Like Rogan says “nobody has more heart that Frankie, he’s been small his entire life and he’s not having it if all fights went to 100 rounds Frankie beats everyone.” That’s a good fight and seeing how Frankie was undersized at 15 it will be nothing he hasn’t already dealt with early in his career before 145 was a thing. Nate did his thing a deserves a pay per view cut, so he can get that boat and pounds of his favorite strain, personally, I’m happy that the Diaz brothers are finally getting their just due it’s been long overdue. STOCKTON MOTHER FU@$ERS 209 Represent.
-We outta here