Conor McGregor is a bit of a zen master when it comes to getting under his opponents skin. His verbal onslaught of trash talking is a form of psychological warfare. The kind of warfare that has been pretty effective against those that step into the octagon with him.
That is, until now...
McGregor threw everything he had at Diaz leading up to UFC 196. He said Diaz was scared, called his teammates "juice heads," made fun of him for teaching kids jiu-jitsu, and even took a shot at him during the press conference staredown. That only scratches the surface as to what McGregor threw Diaz's way.
None of it got to Diaz though. If you're unsure, take a look at the beating Diaz took from McGregor and continued to stay on the offensive.
It was McGregor's mouth that kept Diaz going and no one knows better than his long time coach, Richard Perez.
"It hypes [Diaz] up. He likes to go talk stuff. It pumps him up even more. That's the way it is."
If McGregor had done his homework, he would have discovered that trash talk has never really been affected by trash talk. This was no exception and it paid off. This is the biggest victory in Diaz's career and keep in mind... he took the fight with only 11 days notice after Rafael dos Anjos had to drop out against McGregor due to a broken foot.
"It's really, really awesome. I can't explain it. Words can't even explain it. Two weeks notice, he came to the gym, he worked hard. He did everything, like he always does. Bike, run, swim, jiu-jitsu, kickboxing, boxing."
It looked as if it was McGregor's fight from the start. He clearly won the first round and cut Diaz above his right eye. A cut that bled to the point where it seemed as if it was impossible for Diaz to even see out of it. Yet, Diaz continued to take on Mcgregor's blows without going down.
In the second round, it was clear that McGregor was getting tired of Diaz's perseverance. Diaz fought back until McGregor couldn't take it any more. When McGregor went info the take down, Diaz seized the opportunity.
"Once Nathan started using his range and his straight-down-the-middle punches and combinations and landed them, I knew it was gonna be over. When he shot at him, he didn't want to take any more punishment. That's why he did that. And that was a big mistake."
"It worked out right. Once he got him on the ground, it was over. I knew it was over. Because this guy is not a jiu-jitsu man. Nathan is."
After everything that was said and done, there's only one thing that still bothers the brothers Diaz: McGregor's punch during the press conference. The Nevada Athletic Commission already attend that it wouldn't penalize McGregor for the physical altercation.
Needless to say, Diaz isn't a fan of that stance. But then again, does it really matter at this point? It seems that everything worked out in Diaz's favor.
"Nathan and I talked about it and I said if you would have done something like that, you would have gotten fined -- big time. It's not fair, but hey that's the way you want to play? Nate took care of business. That's what they say -- last laugh."