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McGregor insists he won't change his strategy in rematch against Diaz

The Dubliner is preparing meticulously this time but the approach will be the same on fight night, he says.

UFC president Dana White keeps Nate Diaz and Conor McGregor apart at the conclusion of the UFC 202 press conference.
UFC president Dana White keeps Nate Diaz and Conor McGregor apart at the conclusion of the UFC 202 press conference.
Image: John Locher

NATE DIAZ AND Conor McGregor met tonight for the first time since Diaz defeated McGregor via second-round submission last March at UFC 196.

Ahead of their rematch at UFC 202 at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas on 20 August, the pair were in attendance at a press conference, alongside UFC president Dana White, at the same venue this evening.

“I’m looking forward to it,” McGregor said. “I feel the last contest was a great fight. I have my reasons why I feel the fight went the way it went.

“Now I have an opportunity to prove what I’m saying, like I’ve proved many times before, that what I say is correct. I look forward to 20 August, when I’ll come in correct, prepared, sharp and I will take this man out.”

Since tasting defeat in the UFC for the first time, McGregor has admitted that he was guilty of complacency in the build-up to his loss against Diaz four months ago.

At UFC 196, the Dubliner was originally scheduled to face lightweight champion Rafael dos Anjos, who pulled out due to injury just 11 days before the fight, at which point Diaz stepped in as a late replacement.

“I’ve simply prepared a little bit more specific,” said McGregor, when asked what he’s doing differently to get ready for his second crack at Diaz. “Usually I don’t prepare for a specific opponent and the reasons are clear to everybody. Everyone I face pulls out. They pull out all the time. Last-minute pull-outs have been a staple in my career.

“So I just carried on training. Even though I was preparing for dos Anjos in the last contest, I didn’t even bring a southpaw into the camp. This time I’m preparing for a tall, lanky, ugly, Mexican southpaw and that’s it. A lot more specific. I’m going to go in and put this man away.”

Source: UFC - Ultimate Fighting Championship/YouTube

Although McGregor explained that his preparations will be different for this fight, he insisted that he won’t change his strategy when the bout begins.

The UFC featherweight (145lbs) champion, who has been sparring with top Irish amateur Conor Wallace and former IBF and IBO international welterweight champion Chris van Heerden, will be fighting at welterweight (170lbs) once again on 20 August.

“All my sparring partners are six-foot-plus,” McGregor said. “I’m sparring middleweights for this contest so I’ll feel this extra weight. I’ll understand that I must piece the shots together well.

“I feel they [Diaz's camp] may think that I’m going to come in and tip-tap and run, hit and run, but I’m going to go in and do what I always do. I’m going to go out, press forward, have that man backed up, similar to the way I had him backed up in the last fight, and I’m going to tee off on him.

“This time I’m going to be a lot more prepared for the size and the weight, and for the distance also. One thing I underestimated was his durability and his experience. I will not make that same mistake again.”

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Paul Dollery

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