When the news was initially leaked that Conor McGregor would be facing Nate Diaz for a second time at UFC 200, the unanimous reaction was one of shock and disappointment…
Most UFC fans felt that Conor had nothing to gain by facing Nate Diaz at 170 lbs for a second time and that the first fight had already proved that the division is simply too big for the Notorious to handle.
However, in the time since, fans seem to have wrapped their head around the featherweight champion’s logic and now, it suddenly seems to have morphed into the biggest fight in the young fighter’s career thus far.
Speaking about the UFC 200 main event this week, top MMA commentator Brian Stann explained with unwavering certainty that the rematch was the best possible decision for McGregor and that it was the fight where the Irishman had the least to lose.
Honestly, if I’m coaching Conor McGregor, I mean, guys at that level can beat anyone on any given night, but if you’re a manager of a fighter, you’ve got to constantly keep their best interests in mind,” he explained.
If McGregor loses to Nate Diaz again, he’s back where he is right now. If he goes out there and fights Frankie Edgar, a very dangerous fight for him, and he loses to Frankie and loses his 145lb title, that really hurts the Conor McGregor brand. That does further damage to it and that’s harder to recover from.”
That may take longer to get back to those big Conor McGregor paydays after that fight and I’m not sure where his contract is but, you know from a business side, if I’m managing Conor McGregor, that’s the way I’m looking at it. If my job is to make him the most money over the longest period of time I can, it’s get him this rematch, in a fight that he clearly won round one, have him fight smarter but get him in a fight where he has the least amount to lose when you’re coming off a loss.
Without question, Stann’s logic makes complete and total sense. However, speaking on his weekly podcast ‘The Fighter & The Kid’, Brendan Schaub interpreted the management decision by McGregor’s team in a completely contradictory manner and, strangely enough, Schaub’s reasoning also seemed to be entirely solid.
I would watch McGregor Diaz fight a 100 times, yes I get it. But if I’m managing Conor McGregor in the UFC, to me this is a no win fight.
Sure, it’s gonna make money, I get that man. But let’s say Conor loses, which honestly I don’t know how he’s gonna beat him, especially at 170 with Diaz on a full camp. Size is a big factor here. I’m the first one to admit it after seeing that first fight.
He’s not gonna be able to knock him out. If it goes to the ground that thing’s over before we know it…
I don’t like the fight if I’m managing Conor. I think it’s mismanagement of Conor’s career. He’s our biggest draw by far. Not even close. So why not just say ‘Diaz is just too big’? Who gives a f*ck? He’s too big. That’s not the route to go.
To me, it’s an ego move. It’s a mismanagement of a fighter… It’s an ego thing. Fighters want to redeem themselves but listen, as a manager or as an owner of the UFC, I’m going ‘listen man, i get it but let’s put that on ice for a little bit… you threw the kitchen sink at Nate Diaz. It didn’t affect him one f*cking bit. It literally didn’t even, he wasn’t rocked, he wasn’t phased, he kept coming forward.’
It sucks man… I believe in Conor and I think he’s the best thing to happen in the UFC in a very very long time. I want to see it happen. I just believe we’re gonna see a book that’s gonna say; ‘The Mismanagement of the Biggest Star in Fighting History’. And it’s gonna have a picture of Conor McGregor. And it bums me the f*ck out.
Schaub went into a lot more detail about the ifs and buts of a Diaz rematch but, as always, the former fighter was entirely convincing as he explained step by step why the bout simply doesn’t make sense for McGregor.
Check out Schaub’s excellent argument in the video below. You can also check out Brian Stann’s equally impressive argument here.
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