Former UFC middleweight champion Chris Weidman believes that Conor McGregor will triumph over Nate Diaz at UFC 196 on Saturday.
McGregor was initially supposed to face UFC lightweight champion Rafael dos Anjos, but Dos Anjos pulled out due to a broken foot.
Even though Diaz has stepped in as Dos Anjos’ replacement and the fight will now be a welterweight bout, Weidman feels that Diaz does not have what it takes to beat the Irishman.
However, Weidman is hoping that Diaz makes it an interesting fight, especially as McGregor was crowned featherweight champion when he beat champion Jose Aldo in just 13 seconds in his most recent fight at UFC 194 on December 12.
“I love Nate Diaz,” Weidman told reporters. “I really just hope we can see a great fight but if my money was out there, I’m putting it on Conor.
“This guy is in shape, he’s prepared, and he’s got Diaz on 11 days’ notice. Diaz is longer than him, he’s taller than him, there are things that are going to be different out there, but at the end of the day, you’ve got to be realistic about the situation. I’m hoping Nate Diaz makes this a fight.”
Weidman also admitted that McGregor made a smart choice in fighting Diaz as he feels the Stockton native is not the best fighter in the welterweight division.
“I don’t think Nate Diaz is the biggest, strongest guy at 170,” Weidman said. “I think he’s really a 155er. “He’s an endurance fighter. He’s going to tap you with punches all night long until you don’t respect it, and then you let him punch you, and then he cracks one in there and you don’t see it.
“It’s a lot of weight but (McGregor) is smart enough with who he’s fighting for his first fight at 170.”