“UFC 196: McGregor vs. Diaz” goes down Saturday night inside MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.
UFC featherweight champion Conor McGregor was slated to challenge lightweight champ Rafael dos Anjos in the show’s featured attraction, but dos Anjos suffered a broken foot and was forced to withdraw from the tango. McGregor would have been the first fighter in UFC history to simultaneously own two titles had he own.
Instead, McGregor battled Nate Diaz in a welterweight affair. Diaz accepted the bout on just 11 days’ notice.
UFC women’s bantamweight champ Holly Holm defended her title for the first time since posterizing Ronda Rousey in November to capture the crown. Holm met Miesha Tate in the co-main event.
Here are the official results and play-by-play from tonight’s action:
(UFC Fight Pass 6:30PM ET/3:30PM PT)
Teruto Ishihara Defeats Julian Erosa via KO (punches) at 0:34 in the 2ndRound
1stRound: Erosa takes his legs out with a push kick. Ishihara drops him with a knee to the body. They’re quickly back up. Ishihara scores with two straight inside leg kicks. Ishihara coming out fast. Erosa’s left thigh is already very red. He sends Ishihara to the ground with another push kick to the body. Erosa has him clinched against the fence. The referee separates them. Ishihara is landing some leather.
5thRound scores it: Ishihara, 10-9.
2ndRound: Ishihara slips a right and floors Erosa with a left hook. The Japanese slugger goes in for the kill. The fight is called after several bombs to the face on the ground.
Jason Saggo Defeats Justin Salas via TKO (Punches) at 4:31 in the 1stRound
1stRound: Saggo has a clear reach advantage, let’s see how well Salas can close the distance. Left to the body by Salas. Saggo misses on a head kick and Salas plants him on his back. Saggo working a rubber guard. He fails on an omoplata, but ends up on top after a scramble. Saggo takes his back and is dropping countless punches to the head. It’s only a matter of time. Anytime now, Yves Lavigne… Finally.
Diego Sanchez Defeats Jim Miller via Unanimous Decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
1stRound: As expected, Sanchez charges the center of the cage but comes up empty. Both fighters in southpaw stances to start things off. Miller lands an outside leg kick. Sanchez eats a straight left. Two straight left lands to the face lands for Miller. Miller lands a counter right hand. Sanchez has had enough and gets a powerful double-leg takedown. Two minutes left. Sanchez landing some body shots. He’s smothering Miller with punches. Sanchez ends the round with elbows to the body.
5thRound scores it: Sanchez, 10-9.
2ndRound: Miller scores with a big leg kick that takes Sanchez’s legs out. Sanchez easily gets another takedown. Miller is far more aggressive in trying to get up this time around. Miller avoids some big shots and gets to his feet. Miller clocks him with a head kick. Miller follows up with a right hand. Sanchez has him clinched against the fence. Miller gets free, but takes a knee to the midsection on the way out. Miller avoids a takedown and catches Sanchez in a front choke. Miller landing knees to the body while holding the choke. Sanchez fights free. Miller dodges another takedown and takes Sanchez’s back.
5thRound scores it: Miller, 10-9.
3rdRound: Miller is very comfortable in there now. Sanchez has come up empty on his past several takedown tries. Sanchez eats a right. Miller leans in with a right that connects right on Sanchez’s head. They trade missed spinning kicks. Sanchez scores with a right hook. Miller appears to be winning this decisive round, but Sanchez could still take it. Miller trips him to the ground. Sanchez gets a brief takedown. Miller lands a body kick. They end with a flurry. This is going to be close.
5thRound scores it: Miller, 10-9, and possibly rallied to win, 29-28.
(Fox Sports 1 8PM ET/5PM PT)
Darren Elkins Defeats Chas Skelly via Unanimous Decision (30-27, 29-27, 30-26)
1stRound: Skelly clobbers him with a right hook to the body. Elkins clinches him against the fence. He’s doing a good job of changing levels on with his punches. Skelly gets free. Skelly is turning up the heat with several unanswered punches to the face. Skelly drops for a leg lock. Elkins is still trying to fend it off. He eats an upkick to the grill. Elkins finally gets free. Left hook by Elkins. And other. Elkins scoring with some nice dirty boxing. Skelly has a body lock and they trade knees to the body.
5thRound scores it: Elkins, 10-9.
2ndRound: Elkins picks him up and slams him to the canvas. Skelly tried to take his back after a scramble, but Elkins powered his way to half-guard to stay on top. He’s very aggressive with his ground attack with punches to the side of the head. Skelly desperately trying to get free. Elkins takes his back and is pounding away. Skelly eats a knee to the face. Elkins is all over him.
5thRound scores it: Elkins, 10-9.
3rdRound: Right hand-kick to the body combo by Elkins. Elkins gets a hold of him and drags Skelly to the canvas. Skelly gets to his feet, but Elkins is still draped all over him. Elkins easily gets another takedown. Skelly is getting outclassed. He transitions to Skelly’s back. Skelly gets to his feet. Elkins cracks him with a right hand. Skelly looks beat. Elkins picks him up and slams him to the ground. Elkins moves to his back and is looking for a rear-naked choke.
5thRound scores it: Elkins, 10-9, and won, 30-27.
Vitor Miranda defeats Marcelo Guimaraes via TKO (strikes) at 1:09 in the 2ndRound
1stRound: Guimaraes immediately goes for a clinch against the fence. Miranda doing a good job of thwarting the takedown so far. Guimaraes finally secures the takedown after a scramble. Miranda back to his feet, though Guimaraes is all over him. They are separated for inactivity. Guimaraes working hard for another takedown. Miranda is landing some vicious elbows to fend him off. It appeared as though Guimaraes was hurt by one of them. Not the most thrilling fight in UFC history… They trade leg kicks. Miranda follows up with another leg kick.
5thRound scores it: Guimaraes, 10-9.
2ndround: Guimaraes quickly goes for the clinch. Looks like this round will be a carbon copy of the last. Miranda clocking him with hard elbows to the side of the head. Guimaraes is wobbled. Miranda gets free with several punches to the face. Miranda rocks him with a head kick and follows up with some punches. It’s a wrap.
Nordine Taleb Defeats Erick Silva via KO (punches) at 1:34 in the 2ndRound
1stRound: They have each missed with big strikes. Taleb lands a body kick. Not much landing from either through two minutes. Silva scores with a leg kick. Looks like Taleb’s left ankle is giving him issues. Silva pelts him with a leg kick to the body. Taleb catches a kick and takes him down. He lands a couple punches. Silva gets to his feet. Silva puts out his glove to fist bump, when Taleb goes to touch it, Silva punches him. If this were Street Fighter II, Silva would be called a “cheeser.” Silva is trying badly to make this a war. Silva misses on a wild takedown try.
5thRound scores it: Taleb, 10-9.
2ndRound: Taleb scores with a one-two combination. Silva charges forward. Taleb catches a kick and socks him with a sraight right. Silva face plants. Taleb punches him one final time on the ground, but Silva was already donezo.
Siyar Bahadurzada Defeats Brandon Thatch via Submission (arm triangle choke) at 4:11 in the 3rdRound
1stRound: Thatch working plenty of kicks early. Bahadurzada throws several heavy right hands, but nothing appeared to land. Bahadurzada lands some violent right hands in the clinch. Thatch answers with a right of is own. Thatch scores a spinning elbow and a knee in the clinch. Thatch gets a takedown. He attempted a guillotine, which allowed Bahadurzada to get side-control. Tatch gets to him back to hi half-guard. Bahadurzada is doing some good ground-and-pound. Close one.
5thRound scores it: Bahadurzada, 10-9.
2ndRound: Thatch taking it to him early. He hurt Bahadurzada with a right hand. Bahadurzada gets a takedown. Bahadurzada is very active with his ground assault. They get stood up, even though Bahadurzada was doing work. Thatch eating plenty of knees in the clinch. Bahadurzada gets another takedown. Thatch needs to find a way to get back up, because he’s eating some shots. Bahadurzada is draped all over him.
5thRound score it: Bahadurzada, 10-9
3rdRound: Thatch coming out with a greater sense of urgency. Bahadurzada clocks him and takes Thatch down. Bahadurzada giving him the business. Thatch appears to be gassed. Thatch isn’t even trying to get back up. Bahadurzada is literally resting on his chest knowing Thatch isn’t doing anything. Referee stands them back up. Thatch needs to take advantage of this. Bahadurzada gets an easy takedown. Two minutes left, and he’ll likely ride this out for an easy decision win. Nevermind, Bahadurzada slaps on an arm triangle choke and a gassed Thatch is forced to tap.
(Pay-Per-View 10PM ET/7PM PT)
Amanda Nunes Defeats Valentina Shevchenko via Unanimous Decision (29-28, 29-27, 29-27)
1stRound: Plenty of felling out here. Not much of anything going on in the first two minutes. Nunes finally lands a leg kick. And another. Shevchenko hasn’t unleashed anything and the round is nearly over. Nunes misses with a fancy roundhouse. Crowd is getting very antsy. Body kick by Nunes. Nunes gets a takedown with less than a minute to go. Shevchenko eats a nasty elbow. Nunes stands over her and eats an upkick.
5thRound scores it: Nunes, 10-9.
2ndRound: Nunes connects with a body kick. Shevchenko catches a kick and nearly kicks Nunes in the face when she’s on the ground. Nunes gets top position after a scramble. Three minutes to go. Hammerfists by Nunes. Strong ground-and-pound by Nunes. Shevchenko hasn’t shown much of anything so far. Nunes is pounding her with elbows. A lot of them. Shevchenko almost fought free … almost. Shevchenko is bleeding quite a bit now. Nunes is giving it to her. She hopes to side-control. Proply takes Shevchenko’s back witha minute to go. She’s working for a rear-naked choke, but can’t get her arm under the chin. Shevchenko is fending her off and ends up on top, but the horn blares.
5thRound scores it: Nunes, 10-9.
3rdRound: Shevchenko needs a finish, to say the least. Nunes goes for a takedown, but eats a knee to the midsection and an elbow to the face. Shevchenko gets a takedown in the center of the cage with four minutes to go. She’s in side-control. Nunes pushes herself free. Shevchenko clocks her with two unanswered knees to the dome in the clinch. Nunes better be careful here. Just over 90 seconds to go. Shevchenko needs to turn up the heat and go for broke.
5thRound scores it: Shevchenko, 10-9, but likely lost, 29-28.
Corey Anderson Defeats Tom Lawlor via Unanimous Decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)
1stRound: Lawlor wobbles him with a flurry to the dome. Anderson is still standing, but can’t continue to stand directly in front of Lawlor. Lawlor tags him again. Anderson appears to have recovered. Anderson scores with an inside leg kick. Straight left by Lawlor. He follows up with a right hook. Anderson connects with another inside leg kick, but Lawlor returns fire with a right hand.
5thRound scores it: Lawlor, 10-9.
2ndRound: Anderson stumbles to the ground, but Lawlor couldn’t capitalize. Lawlor clocks him with a straight left. Anderson hasn’t landed much of anything outside of inside leg kicks. He looks very tentative. Pace has slowed quite a bit. Anderson finally connects with a right hand. Lawlor is on the attack trying to steal the round. He didn’t land much, though. Close one.
5thRound scores it: Anderson, 10-9.
3rdRound: Lawlor connects with a short right hand. Anderson explodes for a big takedown in the center of the cage. He lands in side-control. Three-and-a-half minutes to go. Anderson lands an elbow. Anderson tries to get full-mount, but Lawlor manages to work him into his half-guard. Not much activity from Anderson. They get stood up for inactivity. One minute to go. It appears Anderson will take this round, but Lawlor can change that with a flurry. This will be interesting.
5thRound scores it: Anderson, 10-9, and may have rallied, 29-28.
Ilir Latifi Defeats Gian Villante via Unanimous Decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
1stRound: Villante unloading some head kicks. Latifi charges for a takedown. Villante fights free. Latifi trying to catch his kicks, but he’s eating plenty of it. He catches one there, then tags Villante with a straight right. Latifi is pressing him against the fence. Villante gets loose again. Latifi is throwing some vicious and reckless punches. Latifi lands a right to the body while in the clinch. Villante nails him with a kick to the body. Close one to score.
5thRound scores it: Latifi, 10-9.
2ndRound: Villante continues to hunt him down. Latifi takes a kick in order to get a body lock. He slams Villante to the ground. Villante gets out. Three minutes to go. Not much going on so far in this fight. Latifi has him pressed against the cage. Villante has done a great job of avoiding takedowns. Crowd letting them have it. Latifi grinding for another takedown. He picks Villante up and slams him down. He connects with some hammerfists before Villante gets back up.
5thRound scores it: Latifi, 10-9.
3rdRound: Much of the same going on in the final round. Latifi going hard for a takedown, while Villante fending him off. These guys have sucked the life out of the building. Three minutes to go, thankfully… Villante gets free. Latifi clocks him with a right. Villante should fight with more urgency, I would think. Latifi wobbles him again with a right. Latifi gets another takedown, which should seal the deal. Villante gets back up and drags his opponent down.
5thRound scores it: Latifi, 10-9, and likely swept the cards, 30-27.
Miesha Tate Defeats Holly Holm via Technical Submission (rear-naked choke) at 3:30 in the 5thRound (Tate captures UFC bantamweight title)
1stRound: Oh, Ronda Rousey is in the house! “Big” John McCarthy is the third person in the octagon. Holm takes the center of the cage. Both are very caution in the opening 90 seconds. Holm lands a side kick to the body. Tate catches a kick and lands a left. Holm lands a straight left. Tate content with circling the outside. Side kick to the body by Holm. Not much landing from either.
5thRound scores it: Holm, 10-9.
2ndRound: Tate comes out more aggressive to start the second by charging the center of the ring. Tate slips a right and gets a takedown. She has Holm in a headlock and is in side-control. Now half-guard. Tate landing some short elbows. Solid ground-and-pound by Tate. Holm trying to wiggle her way to the cage to wall walk back up. Tate unloading big elbows. Holm tries slide out the backdoor, but Tate takes her back. Tate going for a rear-naked choke. Holm gets free. Tate locks it in again. Only 30 seconds left. It can be argued Tate took this round 10-8.
5thRound scores it: Tate, 10-8.
3rdRound: Tate comes out fast again. Holm appears more hesitant with her attack. Holm lands a head kick. Holm clocks her with a right hand. Holm stuffs a takedown. They have both benn very cautious for the past two minutes. Tate comes with a flurry, but Holm counters with another side kick to the body. Tate telegraphs a takedown and gets pushed aside.
5thRound scores it: Holm, 10-9.
4thRound: Holm is really working that front kick to the knee. Tate catches a kick and goes for a takedown. Holm reverses position against the fence. Holm scores with some knees to the body. Holm lets her free. Another side kick by Holm. It’s a great strike considering her length and it’s tough for Tate to catch and secure a takedown off of. Tate dives for a takedown to no avail and is eating punches to the dome. They’re back up. Holm lands a one-two combination. This is Holm’s best round. Holm kicks her in the face. The champ follows up with a right. Tate ducks and eats a kick.
5thRound scores it: Holm, 10-9.
5thRound: Tate has to know she needs to turn it up. Tate lands a body kick. Holm responds with a side kick to the midsection of her own. Tate comes up short again on a takedown. Tate has looked awful on her takedown attempts since her dominant second round. Three minutes remaining. Tate gets a body lock against the cage. Holm reverses position. Holm lands a right as they separate. Tate is really aggressive in going for takedowns. It’s getting predictable at this point. Tate eats a right in order to get a takedown. Tate jumps on her back. Tate locks in a rear-naked choke. Holm stands up and tries to flip Tate off. Tate hangs on. Holm is unconscious on the canvas.
Nate Diaz Defeats Conor McGregor via Submission (rear-naked choke) at 4:12 in the 2ndRound
1stRound: Herb Dean is the third man inside the cage. Plenty of smack talk at intros. No touch of gloves. McGregor misses on a right and Diaz counters with a right. Diaz is clinching him against the cage. Diaz lets him free. Diaz scores with a left jab. McGregor responds with the same. Diaz working jabs to try and keep McGregor at bay. They tade leg kicks. Diaz’s hands are on point right now, but nothing with power as usual. Some blood coming down from right side of Diaz’s face. Diaz catches a kick and gets a takedown. Diaz pulls guard.
5thRound scores it: McGregor, 10-9.
2ndRound: Spinning back kick to the body by McGregor to start things off. McGregor lands a big left to the body. McGregor starting to look very comfortable. McGregor starting to pour it on. You get the sense that it’s only a matter of time before McGregor ends this. A lot of blood trickling down from above Nate’s eye. Nate still charging forward and talking smack along the way. Diaz tags him with a left that hurt McGregor. Diaz knows he has the golden boy hurt. Diaz is going for the kill. Diaz scores with a one-two. McGregor is offering up nothing. McGregor is firing back now. McGregor is eating more big punches. He dives for a takedown for some reason. Diaz goes for a guillotine on the way down. He promptly moves to a rear-naked choke. McGregor cries uncle.