By Niall Clarke
- Nate Diaz defeats Conor McGregor by second round submission
- It was McGregor’s first UFC loss
- Miesha Tate chokes out Holly Holm to win the UFC Women’s Bantamweight title
LAS VEGAS, NEVADA- Nate Diaz handed Conor McGregor his first ever UFC defeat with a second round submission at UFC 196.
It was a fight he wanted, it was a fight he got, and it was a fight he won. Diaz stepped up on 12 days to replace Rafael Dos Anjos and he did not disappoint.
The Stockton native stunned McGregor before locking in a rear naked choke for the submission victory in the second round- a worthy finish to a crazy night of fights.
It was the Irishman’s first ever UFC defeat and in stepping up two weight classes, he might have bit off more than he can chew.
The pre-fight war of words expectedly intense, as was the stare-down when the two fighters met at the centre of the octagon. Even while referee Herb Dean was reading out his instructions the pair were trash talking each other, trying to get a mental edge over one and other.
McGregor came out aggressively looking to land a big shot just like the one that knocked out Jose Aldo for the featherweight crown. He caught Diaz a few times, one of which opened a cut above the right eye.
Diaz was bleeding and the Irishman was landing, but he was soon finding out that his power does not hold the same weight at 170.
The fight hit the mat for the first time towards the end of the round but McGregor managed to stay out of harm’s way and finish the first stanza on top.
As the fighters came out for the second round, McGregor looked visibly slower, and Diaz took advantage. A left straight stunned the Irishman and for the first time in his UFC career, McGregor was in deep trouble.
Diaz poured it on, landing more shots as he looked for the finish. The desperation was clear when McGregor tried taking the fight way out of his element with a takedown attempt. A bloody Diaz stuffed the shot and immediately got on top of the featherweight champion. The 30 year old landed some ground and pound which forced Mcgregor to give up his back, and from there Diaz locked in the rear naked choke which forced the Irishman to tap 4:12 into the second round.
The world looked on in shock as Diaz celebrated the victory. It was not only a big upset, it was an upset of Mixed Martial Arts’ biggest star, and it begs the question, where do we go from here?
McGregor will still have his featherweight title and will likely defend that crown in his next fight, but has the aura of the Irishman gone? He was gutsy to step up two weight classes and fight a dangerous opponent in that division, but fans are fickle and a loss could potentially see his star fade.
He will undoubtedly be back, and it will be interesting to see if the flaws that were on show with his ground game will be addressed. It is going to be an interesting few months for ‘The Notorious’ one.
“I was inefficient with my energy. I am humble in victory and defeat. I took a chance going up the weight but it did not work out. Nate was more efficient. I respect him. I’ll take my defeat like a man, and I will be back.” McGregor said post fight.
As for Diaz he will move further up the ladder and his star will only rise after this victory. He called McGregor out and he defeated him- that only bodes well. It is likely that the 30 year old will move back to Lightweight to continue his quest for a title shot, and it will be interesting to see his they match him up against next.
Tate chokes out Holm
In a crazy night of fights, Miesha Tate is the new Women’s Bantamweight Champion after a fifth round submission victory over Holly Holm.
It was another shocker that preceded the main event. Tate, the underdog, did what Ronda Rousey before her could not do and that is effectively take the ‘Preacher’s Daughter’ out of her element and earn the win.
‘Cupcake’ managed to secure a takedown in the final round, and from there she applied the rear naked choke that she came ever so close to finishing Holm with earlier in the fight. The Champion desperately tried to fend her off, flipping the challenger over her head, but Tate hung on to the choke and managed to get the stoppage after Holm passed out.
It was an incredible performance and one that brought overwhelming emotion. Tate had done it on her second attempt, she is finally a UFC Champion.
Unlike Rousey, the former Strikeforce Champion did not try rush in for takedown and remained patient on the feet. Tate got clipped a few times in a rather uneventful round one, but scored a big takedown in the second round where she came close to finishing the fight. After landing some big shots, ‘Cupcake’ tried to secure a rear naked choke but Holm successfully fended her off.
Round three and four were much like the first with the 34 year old getting the better of the minimal stand up exchanges. Tate knew that her only shot would be to get the fight to the mat as we headed into the final round, and she did so successfully with a great takedown. Tate took the back and this time made no mistake in applying the rear naked choke for the finish.
It was Holm’s first career loss and one that might have ruined the potential huge money making rematch against Rousey. Tate is now the Champion and if ‘Rowdy’ wants her belt back then she will have to defeat her for the third time.
Full UFC 196 Results
Nate Diaz def. Conor McGregor via submission (rear-naked choke) – Round 2, 4;12
Miesha Tate def. Holly Holm via submission (rear-naked choke) – Round 5, 3:30
Ilir Latifi def. Gian Villante via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
Corey Anderson def. Tom Lawlor via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)
Amanda Nunes def. Valentina Shevchenko via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-27, 29-27)
Siyar Bahadurzada def. Brandon Thatch via submission (arm-triangle choke) – Round 3, 4:11
Nordine Taleb def. Erick Silva via knockout (punches) – Round 2, 1:34
Vitor Miranda def. Marcelo Guimaraes via TKO (strikes) – Round 2, 1:09
Darren Elkins def. Chas Skelly via unanimous decision (30-27, 29-27, 30-26)
Diego Sanchez def. Jim Miller via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
Jason Saggo def. Justin Salas via TKO (punches) – Round 1, 4:31
Teruto Ishihara def. Julian Erosa via TKO (punches) – Round 2, 0:34
UFC 197: Cormier vs Jones 2 will take place on April 23rd