A UFC-veteran faces the biggest draw in the business, a tall rangy boxer with a great submissionsgame VS a diverse striker with great KO-power. Is Nate's boxing enough to threaten McGregor on the feet or will he become another victim of the left hand? Find out what I think below. Physical condition: First off, predicting the outcome of a fight when one fighter is coming in on short-notice is always hard. The big X-factor being, how good of a shape will fighter X be in? Being in shape and being in fighting-shape are two very different things. The discrepancy varies between different fighters. Some fighters let themselves go completely (Munoz) while others stay in top condition (GSP). It’s safe to say though that a fighter that’s being called in on short-notice won’t be in the best possible shape he can be. Now, what can we guess about Nate’s conditioning coming in to this fight? Here’s what we know. He fought Michael Johnson a little over two months ago, he performed well and looked to be in great shape. Judging from his social-media he seems to have been training a bit since then but he’s also been on vacation taking time off training. Then there’s the fact that he said he couldn’t make 155 lbs. That doesn’t necessarily mean he’s out of shape, Nate usually cuts a pretty large amount of weight and having just 11 days to prepare for weigh-ins is not enough if you haven’t been dieting beforehand. However, it definitely hints at him not being in tiptop-condition. My guess is that Nate’s conditioning is alright, not great but not bad. I’m disregarding Dana’s comment about Nate training for a triathlon, first of all, has Nate ever done a triathlon before? And secondly, it reeks of wolf. So my deduction is this. I don’t think Nate will gas in the first round but can he sustain the famous Diaz-pace for five? Probably not. Can he make up for this by being the slightly larger fighter, more accustomed to fighting at 170 lbs and not having to cut any weight? All of that definitely helps, however it doesn’t make up for the fact that Conor will (most likely) be at his physical peak having had a full training-camp. Conclusion: Diaz’s conditioning is probably somewhere in the middle, not bad, not great, Conor has an advantage conditioning-wise. How do their styles match-up? Striking: I think most will agree that McGregor is as dangerous as they come on the feet. Not many people believed he would dismantle Mendes or Aldo as easy as he did. He’s got loads of power in his left hand, great timing, speed and precision. He’s also very confident in his striking which allows him to use many different techniques, albeit with varying success. It’s usually the left hand that hurts his opponent, but his kicks have played a big part in fights (Brandao and Mendes for example). McGregor is also very good at fighting both as a pressure-fighter and as a counter-striker, depending on who he’s fighting. He lured Aldo in and countered him, in the fight before he stalked Mendes and tired him out. However, Nate Diaz possesses a set of skills that McGregor hasn’t dealt with before. Being the taller fighter Diaz can avoid many things McGregors previous opponents couldn’t. He doesn’t have to get within McGregors range to strike with him. McGregors counters will therefore not be as proficient as they usually are. Nate can stay on the outside and snap his one-two then getting out of the way, something he’s actually pretty darn good at. If the countergame is off the table, McGregor will try to be the aggressor, which is something he excels at. BUT, it’s always hard to stalk someone who has a reach-advantage against you. McGregor has shown he’s good at pressuring smaller guys who can’t engage without putting themselves in his danger-zone. That won’t be the case with Diaz. Diaz is pretty hard to pressure, especially when there isn’t a threat of a takedown. When he isn’t afraid of getting taken down his hands are as good as anyone’s in the LW-division. They are deceptively fast and powerful considering he seldom puts very much into them. So I think the boxing will be closer than most think. However, McGregor also has a solid kicking-game to rely on. Nate’s frontleg is very susceptible to legkicks as we have seen in previous fights. But McGregors kicks are karate-based and he doesn’t use chopping MT-kicks against the legs, he prefers to attack the body or head. If Diaz stays on the outside those kicks will be harder to pull off but McGregor is great at finding targets so he will probably have some success with them. Even though I think they match up pretty equal in striking I expect McGregor to get the better of Nate during the first round, he’s faster and more powerful and I fully expect him to test Diaz’s zombie-chin. Much depends on how well Diaz will cope with getting hit and kicked. If it doesn’t take too much out of him and his cardio is holding up I can definitely see him match McGregor in the striking-department during the following rounds. It’s likely though, considering Diaz’s lack of a proper camp, that McGregor will tire him out and win most of the striking-exchanges throughout the fight. Conclusion: McGregor is the more diverse striker with more power, however, Diaz’s boxing is great when he doesn’t have to worry about being taken down. McGregor will get the better of him during the earlier parts of the fight but if Diaz is able to withstand McGregors shots for the first round without getting too tired (a big if), he can get his boxing going and then he’s got a chance at getting the better of McGregor. Grappling: I don’t think grappling will play a big part in this fight. McGregor won’t be interested at taking Diaz down and I doubt Diaz can get him down. If the fight does end up on the mat Diaz has got a big advantage, he poses a threat against anyone with his submission-game. Diaz would probably fancy a groundfight but I don’t think he will able to initiate one. McGregor showed pretty solid TDD vs Mendes, now he faces a much larger man in Diaz but Diaz doesn’t come close to Mendes ability to put guys on their backs. An overlooked scenario in this fight is Diaz pulling guard, it would be real interesting to see him play the guardgame versus McGregor, however, Diaz rarely pulls guard and I don’t think he will in this fight either. Conclusion: Diaz is the better grappler but the fight probably won’t end up on the mat. Prediction: A general consensus seems to be that Nate can be very on/off in fights. Sometimes he looks like a world-beater (against Cerrone) other times he looks like a shell of that (Dos Anjos-fight). McGregor from what I've seen, is always on, he’s always in a good place mentally and is very good at forcing his style on the other fighter. McGregor will be the fresher and better conditioned fighter. I also think he’s the more dangerous striker due to being more versatile and having better power, speed and timing. I expect him to pour it on from the beginning. Everything depends on how well Diaz can stay on the outside of McGregors punches and kicks, and if his cardio will hold up. If he’s in good enough shape to match McGregors intensity this will be a very interesting fight. Unfortunately I don’t think that’s the case, I think McGregor will land hard and early on a Diaz that’s not in good enough shape to match McGregor in the striking department. I think this will be a lopsided decision in McGregors favor. Maybe even a finish, but Diaz is extremely hard to finish. I would love for Diaz to beat the brakes of McGregor but I don’t think it will happen. If you're a betting man, go for a Conor-decision or a finish before the fourth.