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UFC 196 preview: Conor McGregor (star) vs. Nate Diaz (fighter)

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“He knows who the real fighter is. He’s right here.” –Nate Diaz

Having covered this sport for over a decade, I’ve had the privilege of watching UFC make stars, just as I’ve had the privilege of watching stars make UFC.

It’s a two-way street.

But stars are a dime a dozen in the world of sports prizefighting. When one burns out, another flares up to take its place.

Brock Lesnar came and sold a shitload of pay-per-views, then got a tummy ache — as well as a couple of shots to the dome — and boarded the first trolley back to the neighborhood of make believe. Georges St. Pierre ruled the welterweight kingdom for over six years, but da preshure of da yew-eff-see make him take da tyme off. Even the mighty Ronda Rousey skipped town when the ball didn’t roll her way.

Not to worry, Conor McGregor is here to pick up where she left off.

“Notorious” is the next big thing in combat sports. He moves the needle, shuts down entire countries, and gets Hollywood A-listers to come and watch him fight. That’s why division integrity is an anachronism in today’s world of money first, merit second MMA.

So too, is UFC 196 headliner Nate Diaz.

Diaz isn’t a star, Diaz — like his older brother Nick — is a fighter. Stars can be manufactured, fighters cannot. That’s because they fight from sunrise to sundown, not just when the cage door closes in “Sin City.” Sometimes against themselves, sometimes against other people.

And sometimes, fuck it, just for fun.

Suggesting that McGregor is a star and not a fighter is not meant to imply that he’s not a skilled martial artist, or a lethal technician ….View full article

Source:: mma mania