Nate Diaz en route to victory against Conor McGregor at UFC 196 in Las Vegas last March. Eric Jamison
UFC 202

Pat Miletich explains why Conor McGregor is 'going to get his ass beat by Nate again'

The former champion is favouring Diaz in next week’s rematch.

UFC HALL OF Famer Pat Miletich believes Nate Diaz’s penchant for endurance sports gives him an edge in his rematch against Conor McGregor.

The pair will clash at UFC 202 in Las Vegas a week on Saturday, when McGregor will aim to avenge his submission defeat to Diaz back in March at UFC 196.

It’s well-known that Diaz, along with his older brother Nick, regularly competes in triathlons. When compared to what’s required for that particular discipline, Miletich says mixed martial arts is “not that tough”.

Miletich, who’s now 50, is currently preparing to compete in the Leadville 100 — an ultra-marathon spanning 100 miles, which takes place in Colorado later this month.

“I think Conor’s going to come in very motivated — bigger and stronger — but he’s not going to be able to hurt Nate,” Miletich said in an interview on Submission Radio.

“Look, I’m training for a 100-mile run in two-miles altitude. The Diaz brothers do stuff like that on a regular basis. You cannot get them tired, you cannot hurt them. What can Conor McGregor do to Nate Diaz that doing a 50-mile or 75-mile run can’t do to him?

“There’s something different that happens mentally and I’m learning that now. Training for a fight and getting in a cage is honestly — now when I look back on things — kind of a joke.”

When asked to elaborate on that theory, Miletich said:

The mind games that you play with yourself when you go to war with yourself when you’re running for 24 hours straight, and the demons that you deal with out on a country road in the middle of nowhere while you’re running in 95-degree heat with 95% humidity, when you’ve already been running for 60 miles and you know you’ve got 20/30/40 more to go… out-smarting another human being, intimidating them and beating their ass is really not that tough.

“I can tell you that right now. Had I been doing this stuff during my [fighting] career, fighting would have been so much easier.”

Miletich added: “I was running three miles in 16 minutes when I was in my prime. I could fly. But running 50 miles and up, there’s something different that happens to you mentally. Physically, of course there’s massive amounts of abuse, but mentally you become a different person. You become a different animal and there’s no amount of pain that you can’t withstand.”

Miletich, who retired from fighting in 2008, became the UFC’s first welterweight champion 10 years earlier. McGregor’s rematch with Diaz will again take place at welterweight, but should the Irish fighter emerge victorious, Miletich still doesn’t believe he’s capable of challenging in the 170lbs division.

He’s going to get his ass beat by Nate again. Even if he were to get lucky and beat Nate, some of the guys at 170 are cutting down from 210/215lbs. You’re talking skull fractures from punches from guys like that.

“The 170-pounders who walk around at 200/200-plus could punch a heavyweight, break his jaw and knock him out. These are explosive, very strong guys and if Conor McGregor even remotely attempts to take them down, he’s going to get shut down. And if he gets hit with a three-punch combo, he’s going to the hospital,” Miletich said.

However, Miletich did have some praise for McGregor and the impact he has had in the UFC since making his debut for the organisation in 2013.

“I’ll tell you what, though,” he said. “I will say this: Conor McGregor has sold the sport, he’s sold himself, I think he’s brought some of the Chael Sonnen/WWE from Ireland into it, which is great, and more power to him. I love the guy actually.”

Submission Radio / YouTube

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