clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

One cool thing about Nate Diaz vs. Conor McGregor is all the beep beep beepity beep

Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

It’s rare that you get a bout where the true contention seems to be who gives less f*cks — or, more directly, who can give a f*ck less more — but that’s where we are with Nate Diaz and Conor McGregor. Diaz took the fight on just 11 day’s notice, because he will get a rare truckload of money for the chance to slap a dude who has the audacity to use words like "gazelle" right here in America.

Still, even with the opportunity, Nate knows he’s doing everyone a favor. But really? He could give a f*ck.

McGregor’s indifference to all things hazardous can be found in his actions — he’s moving up two weight classes, not to fight for a belt, but simply to keep an appointment. Even if Rafael dos Anjos couldn’t make it, he doesn’t want to let the fans down who’ve come from Ireland for the privilege of seeing him fight. He knows that for as merciless as the fight game can be, the airlines are that much colder with their cancellation fees.

He’s loyal to his fans, but as for the man standing opposite of him, he’s all but turning his pockets out just to show you he’s fresh out of f*cks to give.

It’s been great, the short lead up to this one.

Since the fight was announced last week both Diaz and McGregor have been hitting each other with reminders of how little they give a f*ck. It’s a false aloofness, of course; both care plenty — and so do their camps. McGregor slapped Diaz’s extended wrist during the stare down at the press conference and a baby-Armageddon kicked up. There was the peacemonger Kea, Dana’s bodyguard, fending off everyone’s favorite meleeist Jake Shields. Nick Diaz, another of the key players in the Strikeforce Nashville Brawl of 2010, hiked his pinky up, making the kung fu coo.

Even McGregor’s movement coach, Ido Portal — sans the polarizing pool noodle — found himself ready to throw down. Suddenly he, too, finds himself a part of a roving posse.  

The thing is, chaos and fighting just fit together so naturally. If there’s little sense in a featherweight champion fighting a lightweight at 170 pounds, it’s the lack of sense that underlies everything that’s fantastical about the bout. Nothing adds up. And somehow it all does.

Diaz, always grumbling with a mouthful of marbles, doesn’t particularly like the pageantry of press conferences to begin with. It was his brother, Nick, who lost a title shot at UFC 137 for flaking on a press conference. Yet McGregor showed up 35 minutes late to Thursday’s presser, and the big hand on the clock became an extension of his own middle finger. If Dana was pleading with Nick back in the day to simply "play the game a little bit," he finds himself dealing with a guy who knows how to play the game masterfully.

What kind of trash talk are we dealing in? The damndest kind you can imagine — the canaries flying out of Stockton kind. Diaz keeps talking about the midgets that McGregor has beaten hitherto, which insults not McGregor but his entire backlog of opposition. He’s ever defiant of anybody who suggests they are going to bury him in the clean dirt of Nevada, too, have you noticed? Diaz said McGregor plays "touch butt" with his training partners. McGregor asked Diaz to dance for him, and to not look him in the eyes when he does. That was good. Diaz just chewed his marbles, and then said, at some point, f*ck Jon Anik.

How all this falls into something cohesive, I don’t know — but it’s fun.

And make no mistake, there are big things in play Saturday night, when the two square off in the main event at UFC 196 in Vegas. Diaz is getting paid vastly to become the centerpiece of McGregor’s derision for a few days, but should he beat the Irishman? Other big pay hauls abound. Perhaps he ends up in a title shot. Perhaps the UFC looks at a rematch down the road, which means another "pocketful of cash."

We already know what’s in it for McGregor. A shot at Robbie Lawler at UFC 200, in all likelihood. Realistically, it’s whatever he wants though. Even Dana White admitted that it’s hard to deny Conor McGregor these days. He can show up late and still run the show. He can slap a wrist and never have his slapped. If he wants to fight Demetrious Johnson or Cain Velasquez or Liz Carmouche, you have a feeling the UFC brass would be like, "well, let’s look at this."

A loss against Diaz sort of brings everyone back down to earth, though. A loss against Diaz and everyone gets to restocking all those f*cks they ran out of a long time ago.

Sign up for the newsletter Sign up for the MMA Fighting Daily Roundup newsletter!

A daily roundup of all your fighting news from MMA Fighting