Fight fans rejoice as Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) returns to pay-per-view (PPV) for what is expected to be a thrilling UFC 196 main card TONIGHT (Sat., March 5, 2016) inside MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Featherweight champion Conor McGregor collides with ex-lightweight title challenger Nate Diaz in a main event contested at 170 pounds. Both McGregor and Diaz have traded words and let their hands go prior to this emotionally-driven headliner, which is sure to produce fireworks.
In the co-main event, we have reigning women's bantamweight champion Holly Holm looking to defend her 135-pound belt for the first time against scrappy wrestler Miesha Tate. Holm's camp thinks this will be light work, while Tate pegs movement as the key to beating "Preacher's Daughter."
But first, fans will be entertained -- or bored -- by a slate of seven "Prelims" tilts, which are scheduled to begin at 6:30 p.m. ET on Fight Pass, before they cross over to FOX Sports 1 (FS1) for the final four at 8 p.m. ET.
Here are the results recaps for the three "Prelims" bouts scheduled for Fight Pass:
Diego Sanchez vs. Jim Miller
Struggling lightweights locked horns in the Fight Pass main event as "The Nightmare" battled the New Jersey-based grappler Miller.
Sanchez out like a bat out of hell. Looking for the takedown Diego goes, but it's denied. A bit of a clinch battle, but Miller pushes him off. Two southpaws here. Big right hand to the jaw of Sanchez for Miller. Miller kind of an underrated striker. A left to the head, then body, for Miller. Now it's Miller pressing forward landing punches. He's countering well. But he's dropped! Miller now in full guard, with Sanchez on top. Mission control for Miller, but he's pinned up against the fence. Body punches for Diego. Big punches connecting to the body. 30 seconds to go. Posturing up is Sanchez. Now he's in half guard. Sanchez attacks the body with elbows. Sanchez ends round one dominantly. 10-9 Sanchez
Sanchez now starts off round two in the orthodox stance. It pays off as he lands a hard leg kick. Millers responds with a leg kick of his own. Good right hand for Miller. Knee for Sanchez, who goes back to southpaw. Miller would appear to have the slight advantage on the feet. He's more quick and accurate. Hard kick to the body for Miller, who's then taken down by the Jackson-Wink MMA representative. Half guard for Sanchez. Miller wants to wall walk. They stand up with 2:30 left. Miller scores with a knee to the body. Miller pushes forward after he lands a high kick, but Sanchez retaliates with a combination. Miller slips and is pressed up against the cage. He escapes. Sanchez shoots, but is met with a barrage of knees in the clinch. He eats them as he normally would, then escapes moments later. Sanchez shoots on a poor takedown attempt, but has his back taken by Miller. Miller rebound in round two. 19-19 Miller
Left hand from Miller stuns Sanchez. Great uppercut from the 34-year-old Sanchez. Nice jab. Very nice straight left from Miller. Sanchez rips one to the body. Sanchez utilizing the jab effectively in round three. Miller a bit slower in the final round. Miller stuffs a takedown. The 32-year-old connects with a jab. No clear cut winner in this round just yet. Someone needs to take ownership of it because it's likely they win the fight. A nice little brawl from both men closes it out. Sanchez also scores a brief takedown. 29-28 Sanchez
Sanchez gets back on the winning track and improves his overall record to 26-8, while Millers drops to 25-8-1 (NC)
Result: Diego Sanchez via unanimous decision (29-28 x3)
Justin Salas vs. Jason Saggo
"J-Bomb," who's still searching for consistency in his UFC career, collided with the returning Saggo in a 155-pound tilt.
A bit of a feeling out process to start. Saggo sending out some feelers. Saggo, the taller fighter, moving forward and landing kicks. Salas works the body. He's going to have to find a way inside somehow. Salas with the takedown, ends up in full guard. Nice, tight guard on display from the Canadian. Some rubber guard action. Very nice reversal from Saggo off his back. He's got Salas on his back, next to the fence. Side control for Saggo. The 30-year-old is landing some small punches. He's looking for an armbar perhaps. Saggo hooking the right arm and leg of his American opponent. Salas gives up his back. Saggo flattens him out. 30 seconds to go. Saggo with the finish. Nice win.
Saggo improves his overall record to 11-2, while Salas falls to 12-7.
Result: Saggo via first-round TKO
Julian Erosa vs. Teruto Ishihara
Two featherweight prospects looking to climb the ladder at 145 pounds met in the opening fight of the night as the submission specialist Erosa took on Japanese striker Ishihara.
A few kicks exchanged by both men. Very busy. The southpaw Ishihara utilizing the left hand and kick quite a bit. We're on the mat, scramble. Back up quickly. Good leg kick for Ishihara. More of them incoming. He's doing a very good job of striking first, giving Erosa a hard time to keep pressure. Erosa partially catches a kick, but the 24-year-old Ishihara keeps his balance. The American paws forward with the right hand. Good knee in the clinch from Erosa. He's working for underhooks. Referee separates them with 30 seconds left. Body kick is caught by "Juicy J," who gets Ishihara down and is in side control. Minimal damage ensues. Great diverse striking from Ishiara. 10-9 Ishihara
Erosa walking down Ishihara to start, trying to cut off the cage. Ishihara lands a big left hand, followed by a couple of more strikes to earn the second-round stoppage.
Ishihara nabs his first UFC win and improves his overall record to 8-2-2 (NC), while Erosa falls to 15-3 overall and 1-1 UFC.
Result: Ishihara via second-round TKO