Daniel Cormier isn’t sure if Nate Diaz’s toughness will be enough to overcome the size advantage Jake Paul will have.
Daniel Cormier has some concerns about the challenges Nate Diaz will face when he makes his boxing debut against Jake Paul.
The combat sports world was busy sorting through the aftermath of Israel Adesanya’s victory over Alex Perieira in the main event of last weekend’s UFC 287 when it was announced that Paul vs. Diaz had been booked for August 5. The boxing match had been rumored following Diaz’s exit from the UFC after defeating Tony Ferguson at UFC 279, and it will also mark Paul’s first fight since suffering the first loss his career against Tommy Fury.
It didn’t take long for the MMA world to share a range of reactions to the announcement, and former two-division UFC champion Cormier took some time to share his thoughts about the fight on his YouTube channel.
“I don’t know how much I like it,” Cormier said. “I don’t know how much I like the fight, based on two things. Jake’s big for him, Jake’s gonna be big for Diaz. And Jake also is improving as a boxer, but Jake can also hit Nate. And that’s the worry. Nate is a guy that does get hit, because Nate’s tough. Nate got hit by Masvidal, Nate got hit by Tony Ferguson. And we know who Tony Ferguson is today opposed to who Tony Ferguson was before. Nate can be hit. And this guy’s gonna be bigger than Nate, this guy’s gonna be fighting in a ruleset that benefits him. This guy is going to be difficult. It’s going to be a very tough fight for Diaz, just because he has to be so aware.”
Daniel Cormier Expects Size Difference To Be An Issue For Nate Diaz Against Jake Paul
Paul will hold a significant size advantage when the two fighters meet at 185 pounds, and ultimately Cormier expects that factor to be the biggest point of concern for Diaz.
“Nate doesn’t get tired. So if Nate’s gonna have an opportunity to win this fight, Nate has gotta set a high pace early and he’s gotta keep that pace going the entirety of the fight. And he has got to stay away from the right hand. Am I comfortable making a prediction on this fight? I don’t know. But if I’m having to guess, seeing ‘em both recently. I feel like the bigger, younger guy is generally who you would go with. And the bigger, younger, fresher guy is Paul. Paul has not been through the wars with Conor McGregor. Paul has not been through the wars of being in UFC championship fights with the best fighters in the world. He’s fresh, his toughest fight was against Tommy Fury. And he’s bigger. That is what I think may ultimately be one of the biggest issues that my boy Nate has to deal with when it comes to that fight. But if anyone can upset the apple cart, it’s Nate Diaz.”
Cormier is certainly correct that Nate Diaz is capable of scoring a major upset, and perhaps the 37-year-old’s most famous win is when he submitted Conor McGregor on short notice at UFC 196. That fight was contested at welterweight after Diaz previously made a name for himself as a lightweight and challenged for that division’s title, but he experienced mixed success competing at 170 lbs. for his last few UFC fights.
It may be somewhat of an intangible factor heading into the matchup, but it’s worth noting that the majority of Paul’s success in boxing has come against former MMA fighters. “The Problem Child” knocked out Ben Askren and has a pair of victories over Tyron Woodley, and easily the most significant win of his career came when he earned a unanimous decision over Anderson Silva last October.