Three years ago today, UFC featherweight champ Conor McGregor hiked up the welterweight division for a compelling showdown with the veteran Nate Diaz. Diaz had stepped in to fight McGregor on a mere 11 days’ notice, replacing the injured Rafael dos Anjos, and was not given much of a chance against the seemingly unstoppable Irish knockout artist.
Early on in the fight, it looked like Nate Diaz would be the latest recipient of a Conor McGregor striking clinic. The Stockton based fan favorite absorbed quite a bit of punishment from his Irish foe, and seemed to be in for a tough night.
But then, unable to fell his durable opponent, McGregor began to fade. Simultaneously, a savvy Nate Diaz began to crank up to offense.
Suddenly it was Diaz landing the big punches. In a shocking momentum shift, the Stockton hero rocked his foe on the feet, prompting a dazed McGregor to shoot in on an ill-advised takedown.
Nate Diaz denied this attempt, and dragged Conor McGregor into a grappling hell on the canvas. Moments later, he was locking up a rear-naked choke, and coaxing out a desperate tap from a blood-soaked Irishman.
Relive this incredible fight in the video below:
Since his victory over Conor McGregor, Nate Diaz has fought just once. That solitary outing was a rematch with McGregor, which he lost via majority decision.
McGregor, meanwhile, has stayed much busier. After avenging his loss to Diaz, he moved to the lightweight division, where he captured gold with a dazzling knockout of Eddie Alvarez.
His next fight occurred in the boxing ring, where he came up short in a headline-dominating showdown with Floyd Mayweather. After a lengthy hiatus, he then returned to the Octagon for a lightweight title fight with Khabib Nurmagomedov, which he lost via fourth-round submission.
Do you think we’ll ever see Conor McGregor and Nate Diaz fight for a third time?
This article first appeared on BJPENN.COM on 3/5/2019.