Nate Diaz suffered what can only be described as a dominant loss in the first BMF title match back at UFC 244. Jorge Masvidal pieced Nate Diaz up with kicks and dropped the Stockton native in the first round of their bout.
The end of the fight was pretty anti-dramatic for fans with the ringside physician calling off the fight after the third round. UFC color commentator Joe Rogan felt that the stoppage would not have been called in states like Nevada, the fight capital of the world.
The obvious draw for the UFC in rebooking this fight is the star power that both guys bring to the table. Nate Diaz has been a bonafide star for the UFC for some time while Masvidal himself is no slouch either.
Looking at the rematch, Nate Diaz will have to adapt his tactics if he is to come out as the winner. If there is a weakness about Nate Diaz's game, it probably is his willingness to stick to his style.
Nate Diaz, like his brother Nick, combines boxing, jiu-jitsu, and elite level cardio to stifle and suffocate their opponents. But this gameplan leaves them open for calf kicks, which is being used predominantly nowadays as a tactic.
Nate Diaz's boxing heavy style means checking kicks becomes that much harder due to his feet being planted on the floor. Many opponents have exploited this loophole over the years including guys like Donald Cerrone, Conor McGregor (the rematch), and Jorge Masvidal himself.
What's maddening about Nate Diaz is how he never seems to adapt his style to negate such moves by opponents. Between the Donald Cerrone and Conor McGregor rematch, there was a five-year span in between.
McGregor used the same tactics in their rematch as Cerrone did five years ago, chopping up Nate's leg on his way to a close decision. Nate also doesn't throw a lot of kicks which ends up affecting the variety of weapons he possesses in his arsenal.
That, in turn, makes him much more predictable to a well-prepared opponent like Masvidal back at UFC 244. All of the above facts do seem to point in the direction of Nate Diaz losing to the BMF champ again.
The other trump card in Nate Diaz's pocket, jiu-jitsu expertise, should also not be much of a factor for Masvidal to negate.
Masvidal, after all, spent most of the 25 minutes with Kamaru Usman on the ground and survived. Masvidal never looked in danger during that fight back at UFC 252 except for the decision sliding away from him.
Those attributes make Jorge Masvidal probably the best antidote to the dreaded poison that is Nate Diaz.Published 04 Sep 2020, 19:14 IST