In a historic move, featherweight champion Conor McGregor moved up 25 pounds to compete in a welterweight headliner opposite former lightweight title challenger Nate Diaz as part of the UFC 196 pay-per-view (PPV) inside MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada last night (Sat., March 5, 2016).
The build-up was filled with expletives, punches to the wrist and a whole lot of mean mugs. And the pair’s “Sin City” tilt didn’t disappoint.
McGregor opened the contest utilizing a whole lot of movement to stifle the pressure of the Stockton slugger. “Notorious” landed a few solid kicks and uppercuts, to which Diaz responded with straight punches of his own. As round one wore on, a cut near the right eye of Diaz started to leak blood and it became a prime target of McGregor’s.
Heading into round two, it appeared that this was only the beginning of a brutal striking display put forth by the boisterous Irishman. McGregor was off in a hurry, looking to land his heat-seeking missile of a left hand and the uppercut, but Diaz wasn’t flustered.
The Cesar Gracie disciple punched through the defense of McGregor, landing a takedown late in the second frame. McGregor found himself in the guard of Diaz, posturing up for a period, but the latter scored on a reversal to take the SBG Ireland product’s back.
And it was all over there. McGregor’s energy levels were depleted and Diaz locked up the rear-naked choke for the unforgettable victory. This will surely be a night to remember.
Diaz cashes in on a monstrous performance, while McGregor is forced to eat crow for at least a little while.