clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

UFC 196 start time, TV schedule, who is fighting tonight at 'McGregor vs Diaz'

Check out our full "Fight Day" preview for UFC 196: "McGregor vs Diaz," which takes place TONIGHT (Sat., March 4, 2016) live on pay-per-view (PPV) from the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada, featuring the highly anticipated affair between Conor McGregor and Nate Diaz, as well as the Women's Bantamweight title fight pitting Holly Holm against Miesha Tate.

For complete results from UFC 196: "McGregor vs. Diaz," including play-by-play updates, click here.

Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) heads to Las Vegas, Nevada, tonight (Sat., March 4, 2016) as the MGM Grand Garden Arena will play host to the thrilling UFC 196 pay-per-view (PPV) event, which features Conor McGregor vs. Nate Diaz, and Holly Holm defending her Women's Bantamweight title against Miesha Tate.

Watch the incredible video highlights from UFC 196 last night!

Catch all the action LIVE with a PPV main card start time of 10 p.m. ET (for up-to-date UFC 196 results click here).

Below is everything you need to know to stay on top of the PPV event in "Sin City."

Who: Conor McGregor vs Nate Diaz; Holly Holm vs Miesha Tate
What: UFC 196
When: Sat., March 4, 2016, beginning at 6:30 p.m. ET on UFC Fight Pass
Where: MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada

How To Watch: Main card at 10 p.m ET on PPV; FOX Sports 1 "Prelims" under card at 8 p.m. ET; and UFC Fight Pass early "Prelims" at 6:30 p.m. ET.

Live UFC 196 results: Play-by-play coverage stream right here

Why It Matters: If you haven't realized it yet, Conor McGregor is the biggest superstar the sport of mixed martial arts (MMA) has ever seen.

Move over Ronda Rousey, Anderson Silva, and Chuck Liddell, because none of you can stake your claim quite like "The Notorious" one can.

The Irishman has dominated headlines since his UFC debut in 2013, and has followed up every bit of trash talk he has laid out.

His bold claims continually come to fruition, and his 13-second knockout against the lauded and feared former Featherweight champion Jose Aldo only added to McGregor's aura of invincibility and legacy.

Nobody has risen from prospect to champion to superstar quite as fast as McGregor has, and you have to believe he has only just begun.

What's Hot: Obviously the major interest of this UFC 196 PPV is the Conor McGregor vs. Nate Diaz bout, but I would be remiss to simply glance over the co-main event of the evening.

Holly Holm -- the woman who eradicated the seemingly invincible Ronda Rousey at UFC 193 -- will defend her title for the first time against perennial contender Miesha Tate.

"The Preacher's Daughter" has truly looked spectacular only once inside the Octagon, so it will be interesting to see if she can continue her momentum in Las Vegas this evening.

Tate has been one of the pioneers of Women's MMA, earning the Strikeforce title back in 2011, prior to losing the belt to Rousey in her very next fight.

It seemed as if Tate would never wear UFC gold as long as Rousey stood atop the throne, but with a new champion, comes new opportunities.

"Cupcake" is undoubtedly a difficult stylistic matchup for Holm, but can she put it all together in a career-defining performance?

What's Not: Just imagine if Rafael Dos Anjos didn't pull out of his scheduled title defense against Conor McGregor.

Don't get me wrong, I am absolutely amped for McGregor vs. Diaz, but for a completely different reason than I would have been for McGregor vs. Dos Anjos.

The trash talk between "The Notorious" and the Stockton bad boy has been legendary the last week and a half, but it is difficult to imagine this fight being all that competitive once the Octagon door closes.

Had Dos Anjos actually made it to fight night, this event would have an entirely different aura surrounding it, as fight fans and pundits alike would be scratching their heads wondering if McGregor could actually pull off the seemingly impossible.

Could McGregor have become the first man to hold two UFC titles simultaneously?

If he defeats Diaz tonight as many expect him to, we still may find out the answer to that question.

Although it may very well not be the Lightweight title he fights for next; Robbie Lawler vs. Conor McGregor could be in the works for UFC 200.


Original Card vs Actual Card:

It has been a long and treacherous road leading up to UFC 196.

The main event has changed a handful of times, the venue and location changed, and even the number of the event changed!

UFC 196 this evening was initially going to be UFC 197, but after the Heavyweight title fight dropped off the originally scheduled UFC 196 (twice), UFC brass opted to make it a Fight Night instead, changing UFC 197 to UFC 196 in the process.

As if that wasn't convoluted enough, the current UFC 196 event was dealt a massive blow when UFC Lightweight Champion Rafael Dos Anjos pulled out of his scheduled title defense against Conor McGregor, and was replaced by Nate Diaz on short notice.

Prior to that major injury, UFC 196 lost another critical Lightweight affair, as Michael Johnson withdrew from his scheduled fight against Tony Ferguson.

Instead of keeping "El Cucuy" on the card, UFC brass opted to place him in the main event of UFC On FOX 19 against the returning Khabib Nurmagomedov.

How The "Prelims" Look: The UFC 196 "Prelims" should be highly entertaining for the most part, other than the return of Darren Elkins...

The "Prelims" main event features can't miss action, as two devastating strikers in Brandon Thatch and Siyar Bahadurzada are set to go to war.

As if that wasn't exciting enough, fight fans will be treated to Erick Silva's return, plus Diego Sanchez battling fellow perennial Lightweight contender Jim Miller in the Fight Pass main event.

As far as "Prelims" cards go, this is about as good as they get.

Who Needs A Win Badly: This portion is reserved for fighters who could be fighting for their jobs today, rather than contenders or title challengers needing victory. Let's take a look at those who need to pull it together:

Siyar Bahadurzada (vs. Brandon Thatch): Following a long injury layoff and two straight losses, "The Great" one may need a victory tonight to keep his UFC job secure. Bahadurzada hasn't fought since 2013, so UFC could potentially give him one more shot even if he loses his third straight this evening; I certainly wouldn't bank on it though.

Interest Level: 6/10

A main event featuring two of the best trash talkers in the business, a co-main event title fight with palpable intrigue, and an undercard featuring several fighters who have a penchant for ending their bouts violently.

What more could you ask for?

Obviously, this event no longer holds the legendary aura it would have had had Dos Anjos actually made it to fight night, nor does it feature many consequential bouts outside the co-main event, but overall, UFC 196 is a very solid PPV event.

Sit back, and enjoy the Conor McGregor show!

Check out the full UFC 196 fight card right here:

UFC 196 PPV Main Event:

170 lbs.: Conor McGregor vs. Nate Diaz

UFC 196 PPV Co-Main Event:

135 lbs.: UFC Women's Bantamweight Champion Holly Holm vs. Miesha Tate

UFC 196 PPV Main Card at 10 p.m. ET:

205 lbs.: Gian Villante vs. Ilir Latifi
205 lbs.: Corey Anderson vs. Tom Lawlor
135 lbs.: Amanda Nunes vs. Valentina Shevchenko

UFC 196 "Prelims" Undercard (FOX Sports 1) at 8 p.m. ET

170 lbs.: Brandon Thatch vs. Siyar Bahadurzada
170 lbs.: Erick Silva vs. Nordine Taleb
185 lbs.: Vitor Miranda vs. Marcelo Guimaraes
145 lbs.: Darren Elkins vs. Chas Skelly

UFC 196 "Prelims" Undercard (Fight Pass) at 6:30 p.m. ET

155 lbs.: Diego Sanchez vs. Jim Miller
155 lbs.: Justin Salas vs. Jason Saggo
145 lbs.: Julian Erosa vs. Teruto Ishihara will deliver LIVE round-by-round, blow-by-blow coverage of the entire UFC 196 fight card on fight night (click here), starting with the Fight Pass "Prelims" matches online, which are scheduled to begin at 6:30 p.m. ET, and then the remaining under card balance on FOX Sports 1 at 8 p.m. ET before the PPV main card start time at 10 p.m. ET.

For more information on UFC 196, including the full fight card, results, news, and more, click here.

Sign up for the newsletter Sign up for the MMA Mania Daily Roundup newsletter!

A daily roundup of all your fighting news from MMA Mania