Masvidal will be coming into this bout full of confidence after these last few months. His days of being a journeyman are long gone, he has quickly ascended to one of the UFC’s biggest stars in a matter of months. After the devastating KO’s hes inflicted on Darren Till and Ben askren, Masvidal has shown he has a lot of life left in him and is still a threat to anyone in the division.
However the man sharing the octagon with Gamebred is also no joke, Nate Diaz is as tough and durable as they come; never taking a back step, Masvidal will need to bring his A game to beat “The Stockton Slugger”. This fight decides perhaps the most prestigious belt in the UFC “The baddest m**********r in the game belt”, in addition to winning the belt, the winner will most certainly etch their name in the history books.
In order to be victorious, these are the exact things Gamebred needs to do to claim the win…
Forget about the KO
There are very, very, very few fighters that are as durable as Nate Diaz, in 31 matches Nate has only been TKO’d once. One of the glaring mistakes when Conor faced Diaz for the first time was Conor loading up on every punch, kick and knee. Diaz being as tough as he is took everything Conor had to offer until Conor couldn’t give no more.
Masvidal can’t make the same mistake. Gamebred may be overconfident in his ability to get the KO considering how highly publicised his last two KO’s were but the truth is Masvidal doesn’t have great knockout power. Despite having 15 wins by TKO/KO, Masvidal is far from a knockout artist, he’s only finished half of his wins by a finish with the rest going to a decision.Embed from Getty Images
If Masvidal does decide to go out head hunting, he may be in for a nasty surprise. Diaz can take a shot as good as anybody, its more than likely he will still be there if Masvidal decides to go all out in search for a knockout.
As i have discussed in previous posts, Masvidal’s biggest strength is his fight IQ. His ability to make reads is second to none. As he shown in the Till fight, he needs time to dummy a punch or feint a kick to see what can land, what can’t and how the opponent will react.
One thing Nate Diaz does not give any opponent is time. Its safe to say Nate will be marching forward like usual, throwing a disgusting amount of strikes, trying to drown Masvidal with pressure like he did Pettis.
Its essential that Masvidal does not fall into this trap of going toe to toe with Diaz. What he needs to do is constantly circle round the octagon whilst being efficient with his movement in order to buy himself some time to make reads on Diaz and figure out how to employ them.
Avoid the ground game
Despite Masvidal not being terrible on the ground, he needs to be focused on avoiding the ground game at all costs. Most of Gamebred’s losses have come to people who are experienced jiu jitsu artists or wrestlers, despite Nate being a brawler first and foremost he’s no slouch on the ground.
Nate has the most wins by submissions in the lightweight division, with an impressive 12 submission victories out of his 20 wins. If this fight goes to the ground it spells trouble for Gamebred, especially considering he is more than likely going to be tired facing a fighter known for his cardiovascular ability.