Conor McGregor and Nate Diaz -- just five months removed form their short-notice Welterweight encounter -- ran it back last night (Sat., Aug. 20, 2016) in the highly-anticipated pay-per-view (PPV) main event inside T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada. And somehow, someway it managed to live up to its lofty expectations, ending via blood-soaked majority decision after five rounds of back-and-forth battle.
The three judges sitting ringside scored the bout 48-47, 47-47 and 48-47 in favor of "Notorious."
McGregor implemented a very intelligent strategy, going after Diaz's lead leg with an incessant number of leg kicks throughout the 25-minute war. Unlike their first encounter, which Diaz won via second round submission at UFC 196 five months ago, McGregor conserved his energy early. In addition to strafing Diaz's leg, he dropped the Stockton scrapper three times in the first two rounds, but never got too excited and worn out.
However, toward the tail end of the second stanza -- and for the entire third round -- it seemed as though McGregor would once again fall victim to his own cardio. Diaz swarmed hims with shots, wobbling him with a few, and dirty boxed him up against the fence. There were moments where McGregor appeared like he was looking for a way out, but he never took it, instead finding a second wind midway through the fourth that appeared to save him from himself.
Make no mistake: It was a very close fight -- it could have easily went to Diaz, who admitted post-fight that he had a terrible camp and that the Irishman should have finished him. But, the three knockdowns early, and McGregor's late-fight resurgence, probably proved to be the difference makers.
During the post-fight interview, McGregor revealed that he broke his foot on Diaz's shin. In addition, he called for a decisive trilogy match, only the Featherweight champion wants it to happen at Lightweight. No matter what happens next, one thing has to happen: McGregor needs to make up his mind about a weight class.
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