MMA journalist Ariel Helwani chats to Off The Ball about the UFC 196 showpiece
Just like the first time the Jose Aldo fight was due to happen, Conor McGregor will have to refocus on a new opponent.
With UFC lightweight champion Rafael Dos Anjos injured, the Dubliner will now have to prepare for a fight with Nate Diaz at UFC 196 on March 5th on 11 days notice for both men.
MMA journalist Ariel Helwani joined us on Off The Ball to share his assessment of the new development.
"Let's not forget these are guys going from 145 pounds. Conor McGregor is the current UFC featherweight champion and he's fighting at 170. That's absurd. He's fighting 25 pounds higher. He's jumping over one weight class in the lightweight division against a guy who's taller than him, has fought at 170 before. To me this is vintage Conor McGregor at this point. This is him playing mind games, saying 'I'll take you at your best. If it's easier for you to take 170, take the 170 and I'll still beat you at your own game,'" said Helwani.
He went on to detail Diaz's proficiency as a boxer, as well as his height and long reach.
"They are going to slug it out and Conor has a lot of weapons as far as throwing kicks and things like that. Nate doesn't usually do that. He just likes to move forward and throw punches in bunches and really come at you from all angles," said Helwani.
He expects McGregor to attack Diaz's legs and body, while he pondered whether Diaz will try to take the Dubliner to the ground.