LAS VEGAS — Some of Conor McGregor’s past opponents have wilted under his superior mental warfare almost as much as his pressure and power.
“The Notorious” tried similar tactics against Nate Diaz heading into their fight at UFC 196 on Saturday. He said Diaz was scared, called his teammates “juiceheads,” made fun of him teaching kids jiu-jitsu and then punched his hand during a press conference staredown Thursday. There was plenty more, too.
None of it worked. That was abundantly clear when Diaz walked through McGregor’s best punches, rocked him and then submitted him in the second round of the main event fight here at MGM Grand.
Not only did McGregor’s pre-fight antics not work, Diaz’s coach said. They actually did the opposite of McGregor likely intended.
“It hypes [Diaz] up,” said Richard Perez, the Diaz brothers’ longtime boxing coach. “He likes to go talk stuff. It pumps him up even more. That’s the way it is.”
Diaz had never backed down from trash talk in the past. While he may not have gotten the better of it last week, he was the one with his hand raised Saturday night in the biggest victory of his life. It was especially impressive considering Diaz took the fight on just 11 days notice when Rafael dos Anjos pulled out with an injury.
“It’s really, really awesome,” Perez said. “I can’t explain it. Words can’t even explain it. Two weeks notice, he came to the gym, he worked hard. He did everything, like he always does. Bike, run, swim, jiu-jitsu, kickboxing, boxing.”
McGregor clearly won the first round against Diaz, who took plenty of punishment yet kept coming forward. Diaz, who had a nasty cut over a swelling right eye, knew he would have a slow start, because he had no training camp and did no sparring ….View full article
Source:: mma fighting