Why were we so surprised? The scene that ended up playing out in the main event of UFC 196 was a familiar one for Nate Diaz.
Yet again, the Stockton fighter took on someone a bit more fleet of foot and fist than he. As it had happened many times before, Diaz initially absorbed some big shots, got cut open and hurt.
Sound familiar? If you've been an MMA fan and watched Nate fight for at least the past decade, it certainly should.
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What happened afterwards should as well. It was only once he was hurt, bleeding all over himself and his opponent Saturday night in Las Vegas, that Diaz really got to work.
Conor McGregor got the better of Diaz in round one, on the feet and on the ground. The cocky Irishman had the better sense of distance, was landing harder and with more frequency.
Then, Diaz lifted his bloodied body off the canvas, the same body that McGregor taunted him as looking soft and frail beforehand but once again proved more resilient than assumed, and put his dukes back up. Diaz made it to the second round, then finally found his own timing and poured punch combos onto the shaved head of his opponent.
A left cross wobbled McGregor. Then, another and another.
The featherweight champion stumbled backwards and Diaz followed, taunting, peppering him with more shots until he turned the feared striker into a wrestler. Once again, volume, a steady pace, and accuracy were Nate's winning recipe.
McGregor shot and scored, but found himself in waters he couldn't navigate against Diaz. The punishment from Diaz continued until McGregor gave an opening for a submission hold.
From there, the Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt made quick work of McGregor, sinking in the choke and forcing a quick tap.
Diaz took his lumps, survived, then thrived. In the end, Diaz was bruised, swollen, and bloody, but he wasn't the one who asked for it all to stop.
In the end, it was just another typical Nate Diaz fight -- where experience, boxing, and more than anything, an iron will, set up another submission win.
I have to admit that I was surprised by the result. I shouldn't have been.
Nate sure wasn't. "Hey," he shouted afterwards. "Im not surprised, mother [expletives]."