I’ve heard a few things floating around the proverbial internet grapevine:
“He couldn’t carry the weight”
“He was winning until he went for a takedown”
I won’t bother to address the last quote…but for the gassing out issue, and lack of cardio…I agree…what are the Diaz brothers known for?
Boxing, BJJ and the Stockton slap. More specifically in terms of boxing, a peppering boxing style, an ‘outworking, high-paced style’ of throwing a high volume of 50/60% punches that grind fighters down, disrupt their breathing and make their cardio – ‘run out’.
Even being aware of this, I was convinced Conor was going to win until he got caught in the 2nd round. He looked good in the first round, combining his walking-stalking movement, where he pressed forward, waited for Diaz to throw, and countered Nate’s jab with his own left cross.
He mixed this up well, with a lead uppercut that was thrown if Nate was trying to duck out of the way of the cross. Clever stuff, that no doubt was part of the pre-fight strategy.
How did Nate react? As he very often does – he attempted to utilise his length by leaning back and throwing his own punches just outside of his opponent’s reach. However these landed less frequently, and with less force than Conor’s strikes.
Nevertheless, damage was accumulating, and the pace was relatively high (compared to the first few rounds of the Tate Vs Holm fight that preceded it anyway), they weren’t shy in exchanging blows.
The second round was more equal, with Nate timing Conor with more success, and finding the mark with his jab. However, I think Conor was still looking good for a KO win of his own, until he got caught with a 1,2, right on the chin:
He was eventually force to shoot in for an ’emergency double’ (a wonder if a ‘snatch single’ would work better in this scenario?) and already wobbled, Nate had no trouble in putting the Irishman away.
I still think Conor would win 6/10 times in this fight. He just got caught, and perhaps (emphasis on perhaps here) should have utilised his kicks more. They worked perfectly against Chad Mendes – slowing him right down until eventually it was the wrestler, not Conor that was out of steam. The gamble with kicks however, is that they are tiring to throw, as well as tiring and damaging to ‘receive’.