The biggest MMA event of 2016 is almost upon us! UFC 202! Conor McGregor vs. Nate Diaz! What more needs to be said?
Well, plenty, actually! And that’s why you’re here. Here is Fight State’s preview of the most must-see card of the year.
The Main Event: Nate Diaz vs. Conor McGregor 2
Out of the cage, you know the drill. McGregor and Diaz do not like each other at all, and haven’t since UFC 196, when Diaz submitted McGregor in the second round.
In the cage, this is a tough one to figure out. Diaz is a long southpaw boxer that knows how to work his jab very well, but doesn’t necessarily know how to keep the fight at range, and struggles if he doesn’t force people into his kind of fight. McGregor willingly fought Diaz’s fight, moving in and out of big exchanges until Diaz’s size and sturdiness proved to be too much.
The question is if McGregor will be able to avoid Diaz’s kind of fight. Diaz’s Achilles heel has always been his wrestling. His Achilles knee (or whatever we’re calling his second-biggest weakness these days) is strikers that work his legs and body. If McGregor can find a way to beat Diaz’s ribs and legs, he can win this. If he can’t? Diaz all day.
The Co-Main Event: Glover Teixeira vs. Rumble Johnson
Glover Teixeira and Anthony Johnson are the same kind of fighter. Both are big dudes that hit really hard. The fight could almost certainly end in either direction on a moment’s notice.
Teixeira is the better overall fighter, since he has superior jiu-jitsu on top of his power and solid wrestling, but Johnson has the bigger striking arsenal and is the better all-around athlete. This is a fight you shouldn’t bet on, but it’s one that should be fun to watch.
The Co-Co-Main Event: Donald Cerrone vs. Rick Story
Y’all know who Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone is. He’s a lanky dude that fights really well (most of the time) but can’t handle shots to the body.
That, unfortunately, is Rick Story’s specialty. Story is a fighter that has been around for a long time and has been regarded as a fairly standard wrestler type. He recently showed off some really good striking in the clinch against Tarec Saffiedine, though, and that could be the difference. Story is a dark horse favorite here based on that. He doesn’t necessarily have the punching power to finish Cerrone, but he could easily take this by decision.
Everything Else You Need to Know
- There are a lot of fun fights on this one. Lorenz Larkin vs. Neil Magny (Fight Pass), Artem Lobov vs. Chris Avila (FS1) and Hyun Gyu Lim vs. Mike Perry (PPV) could all be super entertaining.
- Cody Garbrandt vs. Takeya Mizugaki is an important fight to watch. Garbrandt is one of the hottest prospects in MMA today, and he’s facing a very good veteran in Takeya Mizugaki. Definitely worth checking out FS1 for.
- Tim Means vs. Sabah Homasi is your squash of the night. Means should rough up Homasi without any trouble to start off the main card. Make sure your kids aren’t around to see that one!
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