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UFC 196 results recap: Conor McGregor vs Nate Diaz fight review and analysis

Last night (Sat., March 5, 2016), Conor McGregor and Nate Diaz scrapped at UFC 196 inside MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada. In a fantastic win, Diaz submitted his opponent. Find out how below!

Watch the incredible video highlights from UFC 196 last night!

Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Welterweight warriors Conor McGregor and Nate Diaz clashed last night (March 5, 2016) at UFC 196 inside MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.

McGregor has been untouchable at Featherweight, but this was a completely new challenge for him. If the Irishman managed to successfully jump up two full weight classes, it would be raise his super star status to new heights.

Looking to play spoiler was Nate Diaz. The younger Diaz brother has been a staple of the Lightweight division for years, but he did make a brief foray to 170 lbs. in the past. Regardless of all the weight details, Diaz was simply looking to shut McGregor up and prove his own dominance.

Mission accomplished.

McGregor struck first, landing a long left hand. However, Diaz immediately stepped into the clinch and drove his opponent into the fence. Despite the size advantage, McGregor was able to create separation quickly, and the two return to flinging punches at each other.

The advantages that both fighters held coming in were quickly made obvious. Diaz's extra height and reach were clearly a big benefit for him as it helped him land effectively. On the flip side, McGregor's speed and athleticism were on full display, as his punchers were quicker and did cut Diaz open.

Interestingly, Diaz scored with a takedown near the end of the round but allowed himself to be rolled over without much resistance. Regardless of that brief exchange, it was a rather close round in which both men scored with some hard shots. That said, McGregor did more damage and likely won the round.

McGregor started the second round violently, scoring with some big punches immediately. After just a couple minutes, Diaz's face was covered in blood.

However, the high output of big power shots were clearly taking their toll on McGregor's cardio. "The Notorious" fighter was definitely slowing down, and Diaz capitalized on that with a piston-like straight left hand that stunned the Irish fighter. As usual, Diaz swarmed aggressively, firing off a dozens of punches and working his opponent over in the clinch.

McGregor tried to hang in range and did land some of his sledgehammer left hands. However, Nathan Diaz was undeterred and continued to press forward, causing the Irish striker to shoot for his one double. From there, it was classic Diaz grappling, as he attempted to lock up his usual guillotine. Instead, he used it to reverse into the mount.

Once there, Diaz dropped some blows, and McGregor surrendered his back. Afterwards, the result was predictable, as Diaz quickly locked in a rear naked choke.

This is an example of how styles make fights. McGregor has been able to excel when he fights opponents reaching for his chins, and when he's able to swarm his opponent with power shots. Against a lankier opponent who's comfortable in a brawl, neither of those paths to victory were readily available.

Indeed, McGregor did land some great punches, kicks, and generally showed off his stellar kickboxing. However, McGregor commits to his power shots and throws in high volume. Together, those two elements simply are not sustainable. Unless he scored an early knockout or switched up his approach, McGregor was always going to gas trying to trade with Diaz.

And there's few people better than swarming a gassed fighter than a Diaz brother.

Diaz is such a unique fighter that it's difficult to predict his career trajectory. Against some Lightweight contenders, Diaz will look utterly ineffective and undeserving of his ranking. Against others, he will dominate and look unbeatable.

Depending on who's champion at any given time, Diaz has a great chance or no chance to become champion. Either way, he's much closer to that opportunity following this win.

For McGregor, it's something of a reality check. He may indeed still be a challenge for Rafael dos Anjos -- again, styles make fights -- but the idea of him running all the way up to Welterweight to challenge Robbie Lawler was and is absurd.

This fight also showed that McGregor's chin is not unbreakable. It's not weak or any such nonsense like some will claim in the coming weeks, but nor can he take punches freely. Following this loss, we may see McGregor return to his counter punching roots rather than keep walking opponents down.

Frankie Edgar should be next for the Irishman back at Featherweight.

Last night, Nathan Diaz shocked the world by stopping Conor McGregor in the second round. Where does the Stockton-native go from here?

For complete UFC 196 "McGregor vs Diaz" results and play-by-play, click HERE!

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