On the latest episode of Submission Radio, Straight Blast Gym’s Gunnar Nelson opines on Mac’s strategy vs Nate Diaz at UFC 196. Nate is a large lightweight who’s fought at welterweight. His size, reach, and skills presented McGregor with a challenge unique to any he’s faced thus far in the UFC.
Gunnar: “You can’t fight bigger guys relying on power… He really thought he was going to take Nate out quickly. Maybe that was in his mind a bit too much. And he was maybe forcing that gameplan.”
“I think he could’ve taken his time a bit more and forced Nate out, you know, and done his thing. I think he definitely would’ve won the fight then. I think he has the skills and I honestly think he’s the better fighter. I think the strategy was the problem. It was a tactical problem, not a technical problem. Basically he got tired. He punched a lot of glove. He punched a bit too much I think.”
Nelson has been critical of fighters making large weight cuts to gain an advantage. Host Denis Shkuratov asked Gunnar the following regarding Conor’s severe cut to make featherweight:
“On that cut, how many times do you think Conor can make that cut? It’s such a massive, massive cut. Do you think he can spend the rest of his career at featherweight, or do you see this as a 2 to 3 fight thing and then he’ll have to move up to lightweight? I mean everyone of these cuts seem to take more and more out of him.”
Nelson: “ Yeah definitely. I know he can do it a few more times definitely. If he needs to he can, but I would like to see him go up and have a little bit, you know, a nicer career when it comes to this you know. It’ll be a longer one and it’d be, you know it’d be a more pleasant journey, a more real journey. It’s just my perspective on this whole weight cutting thing.”
“I think it’s, it’s not great for mixed martial arts, either, ‘cause it creates this obsession about being bigger… It’s definitely a factor but I think it’s become too much of an obsession for everyone in this game and I don’t like it.”
Gunnar Nelson is set to face Albert Tumenov on May 8th in an intriguing striker vs grappler match-up.