Consensus seems to hold that Conor McGregor doesn’t have much of a chance at beating Floyd Mayweather on Saturday night in Las Vegas since they are, of course, fighting in a boxing ring, which is Mayweather’s domain.
Consensus among people who have never actually fought McGregor, that is.
McGregor’s opponent in the most famous fights of both men’s mixed martial arts career, Nate Diaz, feels otherwise.
“I think he has a great chance,” Diaz said on the "Against All Odds with Cousin Sal” podcast.
Diaz defeated McGregor via second-round submission at UFC 196, McGregor’s only loss of his UFC tenure. In their rematch at UFC 202, McGregor won a hotly contested, five-round majority decision. Those experiences give the pride of Stockton, Calif. a knowledge of what McGregor can do like few others.
“I’ve fought the top pros in the fight game, the best fighters in the world, and done better than a lot of them,” Diaz said. “I fought Conor for 25 minutes, I believe he’s definitely going to have a chance. Fighting and beating the best boxer pound for pound in the world right now? That’s another story but a fight’s a fight and we’re going to have to watch and see what happens. Hopefully it will be a hell of a fight.”
One thing you won’t see Diaz do is make an actual prediction on who is going to win. Nor will he get involved in the factionalism that’s been on display leading up to the bout.
“It’s crazy because, I’m not on the MMA side, I won’t tell you I’m on Floyd’s side or Conor’s side but I’ll tell you whose side I’m not on, I’m definitely not on the UFC’s side, you know what I’m saying?” Diaz said. “The boxers, every f*cking pro boxer is saying something and all this criticism, and I think it’s a better option is to keep your opinion out of it.”
Diaz not only believes those talking trash on McGregor are going to look foolish if he pulls off the upset, but they’re also helping fuel McGregor’s fire.
“What happens when Conor wins, let’s say he wins, and all this sh*t these boxers talk, aww all this sh*t, oh you thought you knew but you don’t know sh*t because you say stuff like he doesn’t stand a chance. They should know, being fighters, in a fight, everyone stands a chance, and if they’re saying that there’s no chance, that’s a problem.
“The ignorance is crazy,” Diaz continued, “because no one actually knows except for a fighters like me and my brother who have sparred with the high-level pros. I know if I went into a fight like that, I’d be like ‘don’t ever count me out, watch me win this sh*t,’ so I’ve got to believe that the more people talk like that, gives him more of a chance of having more and more motivation. That makes things more entertaining, more interesting.”
Diaz found himself a part of a Mayweather-McGregor storyline without this week without even trying, when it surfaced that one of the many prop bets being put forth for the fight is whether or not Diaz will walk out with Mayweather’s crew at T-Mobile Arena on Saturday night.
Diaz, who hadn’t heard about the bet, laughed, and said he’d see what he could do.
“You can bet on that, huh? That’s crazy you can that even bet on that,” Diaz said, later adding, “Maybe he can call me up and we’ll get this figured out.”