Conor McGregor is the master of making predictions about his fights and he’s got a bold take on how he sees his matchup with Nate Diaz playing out this Saturday night at UFC 196.
McGregor faces Diaz after his original opponent Rafael dos Anjos was forced off the card due to injury with less than two weeks remaining until the contest.
Diaz was selected as his replacement although he’ll now fight McGregor at 170 pounds in a welterweight main event this weekend. Despite the change in opponents and fighting 25 pounds higher than his last bout at featherweight, McGregor doesn’t see Diaz lasting five minutes with him inside the Octagon.
"End of the first, I feel he will be put away," McGregor said at the UFC 196 press conference. "I respect Nate. Don’t get me wrong. I do respect Nate. There’s a lot of (expletives) in this game and he is not one of them. Don’t get me wrong, there’s a respect there between us but it’s business in there and business is business.
Don’t get me wrong, there’s a respect there between us but it’s business in there and business is business. He will be KO’d inside the first round.
— Conor McGregor
"He will be KO’d inside the first round."
It’s hard not to take McGregor at his word considering his track record for picking the round in which he’ll put his opponents away.
McGregor famously attempted to wager $3 million with UFC president Dana White and UFC co-owner Lorenzo Fertitta that he would put away Chad Mendes in the second round at UFC 189. McGregor got the job done 4:57 seconds into the second round.
McGregor then said he would finish Jose Aldo inside the first round when they finally met at UFC 194. Keep in mind that Aldo was a seven-time defending featherweight champion, who hadn’t lost a fight in nearly a decade.
McGregor needed just one punch and 13 seconds to leave Aldo lying in a heap on the canvas.
So McGregor is predicting a similarly devastating finish to Diaz, but he did offer the Stockton, Calif. native a consolation prize rather than just going home with another defeat on his record.
McGregor promised that Diaz will cash in at the end of the night while riding his coattails to a record breaking number at the box office and on pay-per-view.
Adding a few extra zeroes to his paycheck is what McGregor will offer Diaz as compensation for taking the fight on short notice and facing him this weekend at UFC 196.
"How’s it feel to be a millionaire now? It’s nice right? Let’s be honest. It feels good," McGregor shouted at Diaz. "You got a million for one night only."
McGregor also jabbed at Diaz regarding his upcoming payday by saying that the former "Ultimate Fighter" winner would be celebrating like every fighter who cashes in by facing him, but he’d be doing so alongside his brother Nick rather than a wife at home.
"Most people when they get that red panty night on me they ring home to their wife ‘baby we did it!’. Nate rings Nick ‘baby we did it!’," McGregor joked. "I’m happy to give Nate the paycheck."
As for Diaz, he’s not one to bow down to anyone looming large in front of him ahead of a fight, so he had no problem explaining what he’s going do with that massive check he’ll be receiving after facing McGregor this weekend.
"They gave me a (expletive) load of money and you know what I said? I said I want more of that (expletive). How about that (expletive)? Pay me. They called me, I didn’t ask," Diaz said.
"I’ll probably buy a whole bunch of nice (expletive)."