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Free fight: Watch Nate Diaz stun, submit Conor McGregor at UFC 196 (video)

After Rafael dos Anjos was forced to bow out of his scheduled Lightweight title fight against Conor McGregor at UFC 196, Nate Diaz ultimately wound up having the winning lottery ticket, replacing “RDA” in a Welterweight showdown for the ages. Indeed, several combatants were eager to step in and fill the void, but the Stockton slugger ultimately got the nod thanks in large part to this outstanding promo he cut during one of his post-fight victory speeches.

Once fight night rolled around, the action got started early with both men looking to get their striking rhythm going, though neither was able to land a significant shot. As the action picked up in round two, both men were content to continue to let the action play out on the feet.

As usual, Diaz picked his shots carefully, peppering the Irishman with constant jabs and short punches. McGregor, meanwhile, was spending his energy trying to find a homerun shot, including attempting a couple of spinning wheel kicks.

Midway through the round, a busted up Diaz started to really pick up his offense, and proceeded to tag McGregor with a nice two-punch combination that rocked the Irishman. Smelling (and tasting) blood, Diaz proceeded to pile on the punches in bunches, forcing McGregor to shoot for a takedown.

That turned out to be the beginning of the end for McGregor, as Diaz stuffed his shot and eventually took his back. Once there, Diaz softened up McGregor with ground-and-pound before eventually latching on to a fight-ending rear-naked choke, ending McGregor’s 15-fight win streak.

Five months later, the two men ran it back at UFC 202, which saw “Notorious” get some sweet revenge on Diaz by earning a majority decision. Talks of a trilogy fight have cooled off since then, but fight fans are still hoping the bitter rivalry comes to an official close in the future with one last dance.

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