Prior to Nate Diaz’ rear-naked choke submission against Conor McGregor at UFC 196, there were very few grappling exchanges between the two men.
Most of the bout was contested on the feet, but there was a point in the first round where Diaz took ‘The Notorious’ down after countering a leg kick. Following the takedown, McGregor reversed the Cesar Gracie Jiu Jitsu black belt and ended up in top position, closing out the round with some ground-and-pound.
Speaking to Kenny Florian and Daniel Cormier on yesterday’s episode of UFC Tonight, McGregor says he was the superior grappler up until his gas tank emptied.
“There’s no questioning he’s a skilled fighter, but I feel that in all of the grappling exchanges up until after that left hand landed and my tank just emptied, I won all the grappling exchanges,” McGregor said. “He caught that kick, took me down. I swept him, controlled him on top. All the situations against the fence, he was reversed. I felt I dominated every grappling exchange up until his left hand landed and my tank was gone.”
Although McGregor is supremely confident in his own grappling, the Irishman gave Diaz full credit for his high-level Brazilian Jiu Jitsu in the second round.
“But make no mistake, there was skill involved in that positioning to mount and the guillotine in the shot,” McGregor said of Diaz’ reversal. “There was high-level stuff going on in there, but I’m confident in my jiu-jitsu as well.”
McGregor has brought in multiple BJJ world champion Dillon Danis who, similar to Diaz, employs a highly aggressive grappling style.
The welterweight rematch will headline the UFC 202 pay-per-view, which takes place this Saturday, Aug. 20, at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.
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