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UFC 202: Why I’m (not) surprised


Those now-classic words uttered by Nate Diaz at the end of his fight with Conor McGregor at UFC 196 are actually quite accurate, and I’m not talking about the actual outcome of that fight.

This holds true for the entire UFC game.

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I’m not surprised Diaz defeated McGregor at all, simply because we’re talking about Nate Diaz, one of the best and most experienced fighters alive. Of course he could beat McGregor then, and he could do it again Saturday at UFC 202. He’s one of the best pure fighters out there, among the most elite and most respected. Why would I be surprised?

I wouldn’t be surprised if McGregor knocks out Diaz, either. Why would I? McGregor is a phenomenon, a truly elite athlete possessing incredible accuracy and powerful hands. At best, he’s more dangerous after that last loss because cause he’s hungrier than ever, hungrier for revenge.

That’s also why I’m not surprised about this quick rematch. I’m not surprised it’s happening again at welterweight. Not surprised about Diaz’s grumbling or McGregor’s cocky predictions. It wouldn’t surprise me at all if they if they go hand-to-hand before the fight.

This is the game we’re in. Just take a quick look at 2016 in the UFC so far. Nine new champions raised their hands in eight different divisions. Six times, this happened after a first round stoppage. The UFC keeps being as real as it gets.

More on Diaz vs McGregor: Dana Download: What’s next for Conor? | Now a megastar, Diaz took hard road | Nate Diaz = Homer Simpson? Conor thinks so | Diaz, McGregor talk the talk | Watch: Bad Blood: Diaz vs McGregor | Numbers show intense fight ahead | Robin Black breaks it down the fighters: Nate Diaz, Conor McGregor

There might be favorites on paper, but once the fights starts everybody has a chance.

So no, I’m not surprised — precisely because I won’t stop being surprised. That’s’ the beauty of the UFC, the continuous state of astonishment that comes with the sport. No matter if you’re a hardcore fan or someone watching casually, whether at your house with your friends or at the arena, there is no script here You will be surprised, by something or someone.

Nate Diaz and Conor McGregor will jump inside the cage again this Saturday along with the other 22 fighters of UFC 202, to surprise us all. So don’t be surprised if you are surprised by what you’ll see.