UFC 196 was one of the best nights of UFC fights we’ve seen this year, and we loved every second of it. Between Holly Holm being choked unconscious by Miesha Tate, and Nate Diaz submitting Conor McGregor, the UFC was definitely shaken up a bit. Isn’t it great? It always makes for an interesting night when the underdogs take over.
McGregor vs. Diaz
What we have here are two of the most bombastic fighters in the UFC. Both talked A LOT of smack leading up to this fight, but only one was able to follow through: Nate Diaz.
Conor McGregor has been unstoppable in the featherweight division but moving up to welterweight to fight Diaz was a new challenge for him. Diaz, on the other hand, has been around the UFC for quite a bit longer than McGregor and has been a key figure in the lightweight division (and briefly the welterweight division) for some time. This was McGregor’s chance to prove he could successfully jump two weight classes. This was Diaz’s chance to prove he was the dominant fighter and get McGregor to shut up. He did just that.
Round 1 between McGregor and Diaz is a lot of back and forth. McGregor strikes first then eats a jab. He responds with a left and Diaz answers with a jab. McGregor once again lands a huge left; Diaz continues with a jab.
What we see is how quickly McGregor throws punches – plus, he is able to cut Diaz open. Diaz nails a kick to put McGregor on the ground, but McGregor gets his ankles and reverses him. The round comes to a close. We are really able to see Diaz demonstrate his height and reach advantage and McGregor show off his speed and athleticism. 10-9 McGregor.
McGregor starts off Round 2 rather violently while picking Diaz apart and scoring some big punches. Diaz’s face starts to look like a bloodbath at this point, but that doesn’t take any steam off the punches he’s throwing. Diaz scores a left that utterly stuns McGregor. Then, things start to get out of control for McGregor as Diaz pours the pressure on him and fires off dozens of punches.
McGregor is obviously hurt at this point; he is able to land a hard left, but Diaz is undeterred and continues to press forward. Then starts the downfall of McGregor as he tries to shoot. Diaz stuffs it, and in typical Diaz grappling fashion, pounds McGregor, takes his back and goes for the choke. The end. It’s over. Nate Diaz defeats Conor McGregor via submission (rear naked choke) at 4:12 in Round 2.
McGregor may have lost, but we still applaud his humility following the fight. He’ll get his chance again, no doubt.
Holm vs. Tate
After beating Ronda Rousey last year, we expected a lot from Holly Holm in her fight against Miesha Tate. She needed to solidify her control of the division and essentially prove herself. Well, we all know how that story ends.
This was really Miesha Tate’s last chance to get a shot at the belt. If she were to lose, it would be unlikely for her to get another chance, which meant she needed to lay it all on the line. There’s no doubt she did just that.
Round 1 demonstrates each fighter’s patience. Tate scores first and lands a few nice strikes, but Holm scores better and more accurately in most exchanges. Holm takes Round 1 10-9.
Things really start to heat up in Round 2 as Tate shows her aggression, control and brilliant strikes. With about 90 seconds left in the round, Tate uses an attempted stand up from Holm to take the back. Tate is able to get her arm under Holm’s chin – we thought this would finish the bout, but Holm somehow manages to survive until the end of the round. 10-8 Tate.
In Round 3, both women go back to a patient, somewhat hesitant approach. Holm eventually finds her groove and is able to connect on her strikes and defend takedown attempts. Tate lands a few strikes, but Holm has a slight edge after this round. 10-9 Holm.
Nothing too significant happens in the beginning of the fourth round, but both women fight hard in the last couple of minutes. Tate has a strong round, landing a few exchanges, but Holm overall lands the harder shots. 10-9 Holm.
Enter Round 5. Holm is on fire. She lands some hard strikes and successful kicks, which Tate just can’t compete with. Well, so we thought. Things don’t look too great for Tate, until desperation mode kicks in, and she is able to take Holm’s back and lock in the choke. Holm tries to flip her off, but Tate holds on and drags her to the floor. Holm goes unconscious, and it’s all over from there. Talk about a jaw-dropper.
It almost seemed like Holm would win by unanimous decision, but Tate made highly-intelligent moves in this bout – she was patient and waited for the right moments to capitalize on her grappling. She has the heart of a champion, and we’re ready to see her take on Ronda Rousey.
Attend UFC® 197
UFC 196 was a night to remember, and UFC 197 will likely be too – especially with the return of Jon Jones! Be there to witness all of the action LIVE. With an Official Ticket Package through UFC VIP Experience, you can enjoy premium seat availability, a reserved floor seat at the weigh-ins, UFC fighter meet and greets, VIP hospitality and more!