The moment the UFC announced that Nate Diaz was going to replace Rafael Dos Anjos against Conor McGregor at UFC 196 on March 6, we knew the smack talk we were about to witness would be epic. And in their first press conference a mere 10 days away from the fight, the two lived up to expectations, throwing accusations of steroid use and promises of violence across at each other.
McGregor swung back and forth between voicing his appreciation for Nate accepting the fight and disdain for the Diaz brother getting out of shape between matches. You can actually hear Nate’s brother Nick in the background yelling at Conor in anger. “Relax, Nick!” McGregor called out. “He’s doing good, he’s doing good up here.”
Next, Nate voiced an opinion he’s shared in the past: that everyone in the UFC is on steroids. It’s a bit of an out-of-date accusation since USADA testing arrived in the UFC, but Nate threw it out anyway and doubled down when questioned later on. McGregor turned the insinuation around, reminding Nate that two of his close friends failed drug tests recently.
McGregor has been amazing people with his ability to not just win against all odds but call exactly how he’d defeat his opponents. He said he’d take Chad Mendes out within two rounds and finished the tough wrestler with three seconds left in the second. Conor also predicted he’d KO Jose Aldo within a round. “I see him overreacting, overextending, then KO’d unconscious,” the Irishman said, and that’s exactly what happened. And now for his prediction on Nate:
In McGregor’s own way, that’s pretty respectful: he’s saying Nate will last four rounds, more than any other fighter he’s faced. Meanwhile, if Nate has plans, he’s keeping them to himself. Rather than answer, he gave a patented Diaz mean mug and simply shook his head.
I’m sure he’ll have plenty more to say as the fight comes up. But one of the most exciting aspects of this match is there won’t be two or three months worth of jawing. This thing goes down next weekend on March 5. So enjoy the smack talk while it lasts, because it’s not long before these two will enter the cage and scrap. As great as they are at talking, they’re even better at fighting.