As UFC superstar Conor McGregor gears up for his anticipated superfight opposite boxer Floyd Mayweather Jr. on Aug. 26 the combat sports community has been left to discuss the impending action. While most people are discrediting the Irishman’s chances and overall fighting ability when comparing him to Mayweather, others are defending McGregor.
Nate Diaz, who has fought McGregor twice inside of the Octagon (winning once via submission and losing the rematch via decision), is the newest, and maybe least likely, name to join the defense of “Notorious.”
“All the boxers are criticising Conor like ‘Conor will get embarrassed’, but that’s a real arrogant thing to say,” Diaz said in an interview uploaded to YouTube.
“Wanna know something that’s even more embarrassing? (It’s) if Floyd fought Conor in a MMA match. (That) would be more embarrassing than if Conor fought Floyd in a boxing match.
“(Floyd) would get mounted and laughed at, and slapped around (and Conor) would smile at the crowd and wave.”
Diaz has been a boxing advocate for years. Not only has the Californian based a lot of his game around striking the ability to land punches, but he has trained alongside boxing standouts like current world champion Andre Ward. Still, Diaz understands that MMA would trump boxing in a real fight, and has clearly been bothered by some of the comments made by boxing’s “clowns.”
“I’m never taking the MMA fighter over the boxer’s side when it comes to punching and s**t, but I’m like ‘don’t be talking s**t’,” Diaz said.
“(They say MMA fighters) ‘would get embarrassed, it’s ridiculous’ yeah, but we’re talking real fighting now you one-dimensional boxing f*cks.
“This is real life s**t, you’ll get embarrassed.”
While few would dispute Diaz’s claims that McGregor would smoke Mayweather the second he stepped inside of the Octagon, McGregor will be fighting “Money” on his own turf come Aug. 26. Leading into his bout with Mayweather, “Notorious” sparred former boxing champion Paulie Malignaggi, who took serious offense with the Irishman’s entire training camp after sparring footage leaked.
“If I was (Conor), I would go down that gym and beat his ass. I’d box him in the ring, whoop his ass, and then throw him down at the end,” Diaz said.
“That guy was on the internet talking s**t on him the other day. I’m like, ‘what kind of sparring partners you got?’ I’d shove that guy in the gym and beat his ass if I was Conor, like: ‘what you’re going to put me on blast about what? You don’t know s**t. What gave you the right to talk s**t, criticize if we’re working together when I could beat your ass for real?’. Don’t even speak. That’s my thoughts.”
Diaz has always been an outspoken member of the MMA community, but it’s surprising to hear him stand behind McGregor in a verbal battle against boxing. If McGregor is able to manipulate the boxing ring on Aug. 26 and pull off the biggest upset of all time to defeat Mayweather, combat stars like Diaz will look like geniuses.
Mayweather vs. McGregor will air on Showtime pay-per-view (PPV) from inside T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada, with an official start time of 9 p.m. ET.