After UFC 202 this past weekend, the takeaway could be that the king is indeed back. McGregor won and all is right with the world, if you’re in his camp and/or live in a frat house. Here is the thing though, and allow me to quote the “loser” in this story: “Fuck that.” Nate Diaz has proven time and time again, he is realer than Ryan Lochte in an interview with NBC about his “armed robbery.” Jeah, I went there. He embodies the fuck you attitude, breathes I don’t give a shit and sweats swag. I was a McGregor fan going into their rematch, but now it’s clear that Connor would’ve stuffed me in a locker because he could. Nate would do the same, but because I had it coming.
The absolute disparity between the two makes for a compelling storyline, and an even better fight. Those five rounds, a total of twenty-five minutes, were maybe the best I’ve ever witnessed as a spectator. The closest I’ve gotten to aroused while watching two sweaty men grapple. It was like a car accident combined with a Kimbo Slice street fight with a sprinkle of Deion Sanders trash talk – and I couldn’t get enough. Diaz is pouring blood out of his face, McGregor calculated as always. It’s instincts versus technique and both of them wanted to take the other’s head off. The only thing that was missing was the knockout. That would’ve been the cherry on top of this carnage filled and testosterone frosted cake.
Even still, the post-fight interviews served as the proverbial last call at the bar. Both fighters displaying their characters true to form: McGregor with the surprise line and eventual call for a rubber match and Diaz with the cinematic gold haymaker over the top: “They can’t have a motherfucker like me winning, I’m too real for this sport.”
And I believed it, hook, line and sinker. You can’t sell someone who is so raw, a real fighter’s fighter like you can Conor. The shit that he says can’t be on billboards, can’t be in commercials, he definitely can’t be interviewed on some late night TV show. That’s what makes him special to the sport of mixed martial arts and UFC as a whole. Only in that arena can he be himself, unfiltered and seemingly insane. Whenever and wherever McGregor vs. Diaz 3 takes place, it will be the biggest fight this sport has seen to date.