What do Nick Diaz and Paul Daley each need to do to win on Saturday in San Diego, and how do you see the fight going?
RICH HANSEN, MMATORCH COLUMNIST
My usual disclaimer. I’ve never fought, nor have I trained, nor do I have any inclination to do either, ever. So my opinion is as worthless as Chael Sonnen’s word. I am guessing here, nothing more.
I know if the fight is fought primarily on the ground, Diaz wins. That’s all I know. The questions are standing. Diaz has a granite chin, Daley is the hardest puncher in the division. Can Diaz withstand a Daley left hook like the one that killed Scott Smith? Will Diaz decide to stand up against Daley? If so, can he control the stand-up with his beloved boxing game? Too many questions.
You know what, anyone who says they know what’s going to happen is either a fighter with real insight, or a stone-cold liar. So, now that I have like 42 modifiers in place, Diaz by submission.
ERIC HOBAUGH, MMATORCH CONTRIBUTOR
This one is super simple. If Paul Daley can keep the fight standing, he has a good chance to knock out Diaz. If Nick Diaz can keep the fight on the mat, he has an excellent chance to submit Daley. I think Diaz’s stand up is good enough to set up his take downs and he will finish Daley on the ground in the third round.
FRANK HYDEN, MMATORCH CONTRIBUTOR
Well, Daley’s gameplan is easy, he needs to keep the fight standing. Diaz can go either standing or on the ground. I think Diaz stands with Daley for a while until he gets tagged, then he takes Paul down and finishes the fight however he wants. This is Nick’s fight to lose, and if he stands with Daley there’s a much higher chance of that. I don’t give Daley much chance in this fight on the ground, like maybe 2% if Diaz fights on the ground, but I think he’s at least at 50% if the fight stays standing. Daley can knock out Diaz, but only if Diaz plays into his hands. I don’t see that happening.
ALVIN CARTER, MMATORCH SPECIALIST
Diaz can box with Daley, but not for dive rounds. He should use the Paul Daley vs. Josh Koscheck fight as his framework and put Daley on his back.
Daley is never out as long as he can survive each round ending on his back. Each round starts in the feet, so theoretically Daley has five solid chances to get the belt.
GRIFFIN MARSH, MMATORCH CONTRIBUTOR
I think Nick Diaz needs to get this fight to the ground. Daley is a good striker that can hold his own with Nick standing. Daley has shown weakness once the fight hits the mat, however. Daley must do what he can to turn the fight into a brawl, so he can possibly land one of those killer punches. My prediction? Nick Diaz by submission 1st round.
MIKE BACIOR, MMATORCH CONTRIBUTOR
Man, I love Nick Diaz, but I have no idea how this will go. Should Diaz try to use his BJJ? Probably. Will he? Probably not. He could outbox Daley, who doesn’t like jabs in his face, for five rounds, overcome him in one round, or get KO’d viciously at any moment. I have no clue.
ALEX WILLIAMS, MMATORCH CONTRIBUTOR
Nick Diaz needs to take Paul Daley down. Daley needs Diaz to not take him down. Happily for Daley, Diaz likely won’t try to take him down. I think Daley wins by knock out. If Diaz wins by outstriking him, I won’t doubt his striking ability again.
JAMIE PENICK, MMATORCH EDITOR-IN-CHIEF
For as good as Diaz’s chin is, Daley is not an opponent he wants to go toe-to-toe with for an extended period of time. Unfortunately, he’s shown a propensity for doing just that regardless of the opponent. His advantage on the ground is significant, and to win this fight he’ll need to bring Daley to the mat and look to submit him. But you only have to look at his last fight against Evangelista “Cyborg” Santos to see that, even when he’s getting tagged and hit hard by an opponent, he’ll continue striking with them. I think he’ll test his luck too much against an elite MMA striker in Daley and it will spell doom for him. I’ll take Daley by TKO in the second.