Conor McGregor took the rematch with Nick Diaz on Saturday night in the main event of UFC 202 in Las Vegas, but it wasn’t easy.
The Notorious One won a majority decision (48-47×2, 47-47) and it was one heck of a fight.
LAS VEGAS, NV – AUGUST 20: Conor McGregor (L) and Nate Diaz battle during their welterweight rematch at the UFC 202 event at T-Mobile Arena on August 20, 2016 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Steve Marcus/Getty Images)
Like the first bout, McGregor controlled the action with his quickness and accurate striking early. His powerful leg kicks were especially troubling for Diaz.
As he did in the first meeting, Diaz took what McGregor had to offer and came on strong to seize the momentum. In the first bout, McGregor gassed and was unable to withstand Diaz’s punches.
On Saturday, McGregor found enough of a second wind to earn three of the five rounds on two of the three judge’s scorecards.
Some will take umbrage with McGregor winning the fight because he was clearly gassed for the last half of the fight, but McGregor did great work through the first two rounds and had his moments in the fourth and fifth.
He showed great perseverance.
A draw would have been believable, but I have no problems stomaching a McGregor victory.
This was recognized as the Fight of the Night, and deservedly so.
Despite the bad blood leading up to the fight, both fighters showed great respect after the bout:
Both talked about a third fight and it seems that’s probably a given at this point.
The co-main event wasn’t the fight of the night, but if the UFC still gave out a bonus for KO of the night, there’s no question Anthony “Rumble” Johnson’s first-round destruction of Glover Teixeira would be the pick.
As it stands, Rumble took home one of the Performance of the Night bonuses for this nasty uppercut finish on the tough Brazilian. It happened only 13 seconds into the fight:
After the finish, Rumble called out light heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier who was in the crowd.
They’ve met once and Cormier earned the stoppage victory to capture the crown. After yet another finish and victory for Rumble, the rematch has to happen.
Something tells me it’ll go down at the first UFC card in New York later this year.
There were 12 fights on the card and 9 of them ended with a stoppage–with six coming in the first round.
Here’s a look at all of the results. The bonus winners are marked with an asterisk (*).
- Conor McGregor def. Nate Diaz by majority decision (48-47×2, 47-47)* Fight of the Night
- Anthony Johnson def. Glover Teixeira by KO (punch) first round* Performance of the Night
- Donald Cerrone def. Rick Story by TKO (strikes) second round* Performance of the Night
- Mike Perry def. Hyun Gyu Lim by TKO (punches) first round
- Tim Means def. Sabah Homasi by TKO (punches) second round
- Cody Garbrandt def. Takeya Mizugaki by TKO (punches) first round
- Raquel Pennington def. Elizabeth Phillips by unanimous decision (30-27×3)
- Artem Lobov def. Chris Avila by unanimous decision (30-27 x3)
- Cortney Casey def. Randa Markos by submission (armbar) first round
- Lorenz Larkin def. Neil Magny by TKO (elbows) first round
- Colby Covington def. Max Griffin by TKO (punches) third round
- Marvin Vettori def. Alberto Uda by submission (guillotine choke) first round
LAS VEGAS, NV – AUGUST 20: Donald Cerrone (L) throws a left at Rick Story during their welterweight bout at the UFC 202 event at T-Mobile Arena on August 20, 2016 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Cerrone won by second-round TKO. (Photo by Steve Marcus/Getty Images)
Fighting at 170 pounds, Donald Cerrone put on a striking clinic against Rick Story en route to a second-round TKO win.
His accuracy and poise during exchanges were exemplary. Story was too slow and he lacked the technical striking skills to keep pace with Cowboy.
Take a look at the combination that ended the fight:
To throw three straight strikes that land clean on different areas of the body–at the highest level of mixed martial arts–is pretty amazing.
Cerrone has looked great at welterweight, but he made it clear, he wants to face 155-pound champion Eddie Alvarez for the title in his next fight.
Cerrone already owns a unanimous-decision victory over Alvarez back in 2014. He believes he can beat him again, but this time it’ll be for the gold.