A vacation in Mexico and only 10 days to prepare couldn’t stop Nate Diaz from defeating Conor McGregor at UFC 196.
The second time around, the Stockton, Calif., native had a full camp to prepare for McGregor, but he came up short in the UFC 202 headliner, falling via majority decision in a fight that exceeded its considerable hype.
Diaz appeared to have the Irishman reeling on a couple occasions in the bout, but ultimately McGregor was able to survive and improve upon his prior performance. Still, the Cesar Gracie protege thought he did enough to get the nod from the cageside judges at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.
“I thought I won the fight. I got paid, so it’s all good,” said Diaz, who earned a disclosed $2 million in defeat. “He did a lot of running in that fight. He ran the whole fight. I feel like they should’ve took points for that. On top of me winning anyways, they should’ve took points, which wouldn’t have let him win the fight.”
While Diaz did have more time to train for McGregor, his UFC 202 camp was not without its difficulties. In fact, Diaz believes that his opponent should have been able to finish him.
“I was injured coming into this fight. I’ve got the whole thing on tape: I hurt my knee about a month ago. I wasn’t able to train jiu-jitsu for the last month,” Diaz said. “And then about two weeks after I was sparring boxing and I really hurt my rib. I got hit in the body, by my partner, a really good boxer. That put me out of sparring about two and a half weeks ago. I got it all on tape, just to set if off and not to make excuses.
“He should have finished me off. If I would’ve been fighting me, I would’ve taken me clean out. That’s my take on the whole fight.”
Like McGregor, Diaz expects a trilogy to take place somewhere down the road.
“I want number three. I gave him number two, so let’s do it,” he said.