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.

Buy tickets to UFC 202 | Pre-order UFC 202 digitally now

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.
Saturday, March 3
Las Vegas, Nevada


Jeremy Stephens talks backstage about his second-round KO win against Josh Emmett in the main event of Fight Night Orlando on FOX. Stephens tied Anderson Silva's UFC record with his 18th career knockdown in the fight.
Feb 24, 2018
Jeremy Stephens completed his second finish of 2018, making quick work of Josh Emmett in the main event of Fight Night Orlando. Hear from Stephens in the post fight Octagon interview.
Feb 24, 2018
UFC strawweight Jessica Andrade took out a game Tecia Torres in the Fight Night Orlando co-main event with a decisive decision win. Andrade spoke about the performance inside the Octagon after the bout.
Feb 24, 2018
Ilir Latifi collected the signature win of his career with a first-round submission win against Ovince Saint Preux. Hear Latifi call out Daniel Cormier and talk about his performance in the post fight Octagon interview.
Feb 24, 2018