Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Welterweight stars Nate Diaz and Conor McGregor clashed last night (Aug. 20, 2016) at UFC 202 inside T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada. Diaz shocked the world last time around, surprising most everyone but himself. He had the momentum firmly behind him heading into the rematch, but Diaz still needed to walk into the Octagon and take care of business. Meanwhile, McGregor demanded a shot at revenge, and his request was fulfilled. In order to remind fans of his incredible talent, McGregor could not afford a second straight loss to the Stockton-native.
Unlike the last time, McGregor opened the fight with lots of low kicks. Diaz adjusted and managed to avoid/check a couple, but then McGregor landed his gorgeous left hand and dropped Diaz to the mat. Diaz returned to his feet without much problem, but McGregor was very much in control of the bout. Diaz was able to land some jabs and crosses, but he ate some hard punches and continued to absorb low kicks throughout the round. Like the first bout, McGregor undoubtedly took the first frame.
To watch Conor McGregor vs. Nate Diaz 2 full fight video highlights from UFC 202 last night click here!
As usual, Diaz recovered well and stayed in the fight. He continued to eat hard shots, but with about 90 seconds remaining in the round, something changed. Diaz began chasing forward more aggressively, and his punches began to land with more frequency. Near the end of the round, Diaz wobbled his opponent’s legs, and he swarmed on him till the bell. After an eight-minute beating, Diaz had successfully shifted the momentum.
McGregor was still breathing very heavy to start the third round, and Diaz stayed on the offensive. Before long, Diaz pushed his opponent into the fence, where he kept on the offensive with punches and takedown attempts. Throughout the entire round, Diaz kept the pressure on McGregor. He walked his opponent down endlessly, clinching at any opportunity, and forcing his foe to work at all times. In the first four minutes of the round, Diaz controlled the range but did not do a ton of damage. However, in the final minute, Diaz absolutely worked his opponent, flurrying on McGregor’s body and head.
McGregor started the fourth round well, moving and stabbing at Diaz with quick punches. However, Diaz was nonetheless able to work his way into the clinch, where he slowed McGregor and forced him to wrestle with the bigger fighter. All in all, the fourth was the closest round of the fight. McGregor landed the cleaner shots at range, but Diaz still kept up the forward movement and volume. It was all up in the air heading into the fifth round.
Both men were worn down to start the final frame. Still, Diaz kept up the endless pressure, putting his foe’s back on the fence. McGregor defended a takedown well, but he ate a trio of punches on the break.
McGregor landed some solid shots, but Diaz didn’t take long to force him into the fence once again. McGregor managed to reverse the clinch once or twice, but he was never as active with his ground strikes as Diaz, and the Stockton-native finished with a takedown at the bell.
What an incredible fight. An incredible fight that was admittedly marred a bit by the judging, as they awarded McGregor the majority decision win. To his credit, McGregor fought far smarter in this bout. Utilizing his low kicks, McGregor slowed Diaz down quite a bit, making it more difficult for Diaz to pull ahead in the later rounds.
Additionally, McGregor’s more composed left hand found his foe’s chin far more often. By dropping his spinning kicks and lunging lefts, McGregor was able to compete far more effectively into the later rounds. Since it seems that McGregor doesn’t have much interest in defending his Featherweight crown, maybe round three at Lightweight does make sense.
As for Diaz, this definitely sucks. He took McGregor’s best shots and rallied hard, taking over most of the second half of the fight. Diaz undoubtedly landed more shots and pushed the pace, and quite frankly it should’ve been enough to earn him the decision. Nevertheless, Diaz still needs a real answer to the low kicks. He absorbed far too many early in the bout, and it inhibited his ability to chase McGregor down later in the bout.
Run it back!
At UFC 202, Conor McGregor took a controversial majority decision from Nate Diaz. How will the third bout go down?