UFC 196: McGregor Vs. Diaz
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UFC 196: McGregor Vs. Diaz

The play-by-play and highlights

UFC 196: McGregor Vs. Diaz
Esther Lin / MMAFighting.com

Women’s Bantamweight, 135lbs: Amanda Nunes vs. Valentina Shevchenko

Nunes wins in a thriller of a fight. She came with her classic pressure and striking prowess, but the shorter, less-heralded Shevchenko came to fight (pun intended). In the second round, Nunes was able to take it to the ground and rain down a lot of strikes.

In the third, Shevchenko mounted an effective offense, taking Nunes to the ground, achieving a near mounted-crucifix and Americana, but was unable to sway the judges.

Nunes will likely get a title-shot after this win.

Light Heavyweight, 205lbs: #12 Corey Anderson vs. Tom Lawlor

Winner by Unanimous Decision, Anderson. In a battle of two ex-collegiate wrestlers, Anderson was able to keep his pace and weather an early storm from Lawlor, including an early exchange that left Anderson reeling.

It was 50-50 early, but Anderson was able to pull away on the weight of a takedown and dominant top position.

Light Heavyweight, 205lbs: #13 Gian Villante vs. Ilir Latifi

It’s Latifi early in the first, who is able to land a couple big single-hits. Latifi was announced as a past European Champion in wrestling, which is no easy feat. Villante is definitely respecting the power of his opponent, but he’s been pushed to the cage often in the first, forced to defend takedowns and unable to get his offense together from space.

Villante is able to land a solid body kick, followed by some near-hit kicks to end the round.

Into the second round, the fight is still pretty even, but Latifi is able to land a huge belly-to-back suplex (in wrestling it would have been 4 or 5 points, depending on style, for what it’s worth). Latifi is able to force Villante back to the cage in cage-clinch. BIG double-leg slam from Latifi to close out the second and definitely secure it on the judge’s scorecards.

Into the third, Gian’s corner (including former 185lbs champion Chris Weidman) has a sense of urgency. No big exchanges, but Latifi is able to keep pressure on and keep Villante away from putting any offense together. Latifi lands another takedown before another scramble to end the fight.

Women’s Bantamweight Championship, 205lbs: Champion Holly Holm vs. #2 Miesha Tate

I’m a big Tate fan, but Holly Holm is a world-class striker (to say the least). Miesha Tate gives a big scream on her way to the Octagon while Holly Holm runs and skips quickly to the Octagon.

First round, after a couple minutes of feeling out, Tate is able to time a kick and almost takes Holm down. Though she isn’t able to complete the takedown, she lands a clean hook on the exit of the exchange. Holm is able to redden the face of Tate with her jab and continues to keep that pressure and lands a nice side body-kick. A little over :30 left, Tate throws a left body-kick just as Holm throws a big headkick at the same time, barely defended by Tate.

Into the second, big takedown, Tate catches a cow-catcher (wrestling move) and is able to flatten Holm down in half-guard. Big ground and pound by Tate, Holm is NOT doing what she needs to get out from bottom. Tate is landing BIG elbows. TATE takes back control! WOW TATE HAS A REAR-NAKED CHOKE! LESS THAN 30 IN THE ROUND. Miesha Tate puts in a DOMINANT second round.

The third! Despite tentative exchanges, Holm is able to land a slick headkick, though Tate’s confidence is shining. Holm is throwing a few different kicking techniques, attempting to put together her boxing. Within a minute, Tate closes the distance and eats a side kick for her troubles.

Starting the fourth round, Tate’s going to have to turn the momentum, as Holm may scoot by with the scant striking exchanging since the second round. Tate is feeling the urgency and presses forward, but now Holm is able to work her counter-striking. Holm lands a couple kicks and a nice 1-2-3 jab-cross in the final minute.

FINAL round: Tate comes out ready. First minute, Tate is attempting to exchange (as a way to close distance and set up a takedown). Holm is able to put her offense together big against the charging Tate, making her eat multiple strikes.

Two minutes left, Meisha gets a takedown and immediately takes the back. Misha locks in a standing rear-naked choke. Holm attempts to forward roll, but Tate is able to recover. HOLM IS OUT! TATE IS THE NEW WOMEN’S BANTAMWEIGHT CHAMPION!

Welterweight, 170lbs: Conor McGregor vs Nate Diaz

The big one. McGregor lands a big overhand left, attempts a spinning cartwheel kick, and Nate closes. Forces a short clinch against the cage. They are striking for sure. Diaz lands a slap as McGregor jabs forward. Both are trashing each other as they fight and land. Lot’s of gamesmanship here. That left hand of McGregor is finding a home, and Nate is cut above his right eye. With short time, Nate catches a kick and McGregor finishes in posture-up guard, stacking Nate Diaz. Diaz attempts a rolling kneebar to close the round.

Back on his feet, McGregor is landing in every exchange. Hooks, body kicks, and body shots. Diaz wears his classic nonchalant expression, despite the blood leaking. NATE puts together BACK-to-BACK 1-2s! McGregor back steps with 2 minutes left. DIAZ roughing UP McGregor against the cage!

NATE HAS HIM HURT. McGregor dives in for a desperation double, Diaz out grapples and takes McGregor’s back, McGregor gives up full-mount. DIAZ RAINS DOWN PUNCHES looking to finish, Diaz RNC TO WIN. Holy hell, that was a finish!

Some post-fight Nate Diaz gems: [warning: adult language]


“If I had a full-camp, I wouldn’t have been touched.”

“HEY, I started off slow but I’m faster than everybody!”

“I’d have more knockouts but as soon as I start landing they start shootin’ [for takedowns]!”

Check out the Co-Main and Main Event highlights below:

last but not least, here's newly-minted Bantamweight Champion Miesha Tate,

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.

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