UFC 196 hosted at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas earlier this morning saw one of the most eagerly anticipated match ups in the history of the sport, Conor McGregor against Nate Diaz.
Leading into this fight there had been a lot of tension throughout the press conferences. With both fighters talking ‘smack’ towards one another.
The featherweight UFC champion was making the adjustment to 170Ibs from 145Ibs for the first time, against a slightly ‘out of shape’ opponent in Diaz.
The main card on the event got underway and McGregor did indeed get out of the gate quickly. Loading in on Diaz with powerful uppercuts and that famous left hook. And in the early stages he managed to cut Diaz just above his right eye.
With the first round during to an end, the Irishman looked in control, and with the Americans face filling with blood. It was clear who had the early advantage.
And then into the second round, the pendulum swung.
Diaz caught McGregor with a right hook and it seriously shook the champion.
From that point on, the fight went hammer and tongue. With both fighters unloading on one another, the fight was a complete stand off until McGregor seemingly panicked and took his opponent to the ground.
This was one point McGregor certainly wasn’t going to win, Diaz managed to mount the champ and began layering him with shots to the head.
Diaz defied the odds to beat the most popular figure in the sport.
McGregor looked fairly uncomfortable at the weight, with his powerful left hooks, looking more powerless than in the featherweight division.
Co-Main Event Card
Champion Holy Holm against the challenger Misha Tate for the bantamweight championship.
Holm had recently shocked the world with a famous victory over previous champion Ronda Rousey in Australia.
Tate who had previously been defeated by Rousey in a title challenge, but with a string of winds since then another title shot was in order.
And she caused holm problems throughout with her excellent ground work, whilst holm continued to try and keep it on the feet.
Into the fifth round the fight was edging towards Holm on points, Tate needed a knockout.
After an exchange in the final round Tate mounted Holm on her feet from behind, setting up a reverse chokehold from the air. She then took it to the floor still in the hold. The champion refused to tap out and with that, Tate put her to sleep to be crowned the new bantamweight champ.
What next for this lot?
After the event Jose Aldo and Frankie Edgar seemed to have quite a lot to say. It would seem that the Irishman will go back down to featherweight to defend his title against both.
I think after which he will move up to lightweight to face Rafael Dos Anjos in the fight that should have been. I do think that McGregor isn’t finished with the welterweight division and he will return for revenge at some point.
For now it’s time to regather and move back down to face those that challenge his belt. And what about that momentous UFC 200? Aldo rematch?
Diaz, well he could do whatever he wanted. I imagine after such a display, he would fancy lining up at UFC 200 against Lawler or Dos Anjos.
For Tate it seems likely that a rematch with her old nemesis Rousey is well and truly on the cards, when I’m not so sure. Rousey is believed to be in training, so it could come sooner than you think.
Holly Holm will be devastated that her title defence lasted only one fight. It’s back to the drawing board for her, before from what I imagine a rematch with Rousey in the future.
Source: Daily Mirror