The hype surrounding the rematch between Conor McGregor and Nate Diaz was thunderous as UFC 202 rolled around. With millions watching on PPV and thousands packing out the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, fans were left more than satisfied as McGregor walked away with a majority decision following a five-round all out war.
McGregor came out a with a picture perfect game plan in round one, keeping patient with damaging low kicks and knocking Diaz to the canvas with precision striking. Diaz was able to recover but the opening frame was all McGregor.
Round two saw McGregor continue where he’d left off, smashing Diaz with low kicks and dropping him twice. However half way through the round McGregor’s pace started to drop, and sensing weakness Diaz starting pouring on the pressure. Reminiscent of their first fight Diaz started landing punches that visibly hurt McGregor, however this time the Irishman managed to keep his composure until the end of the round.
Diaz continued to up the pressure in round three, pushing McGregor against the cage and initiating grueling clinch fighting. By the end of the third it looked like McGregor might have nothing left in the tank. Amazingly in the fourth round the “Notorious” seemed to catch a second wind, and while he couldn’t replicate his first round efficiency, he seemed to do enough to win the fourth round.
The final round saw the two fighters battle exhaustedly, leaving everything in the octagon. Diaz was able to land the bigger punches and was finally able to drag the fight to the mat with seconds left in the fight.
Ultimately it wasn’t enough as McGregor won the fight on two fighters scorecards.
McGregor declared in his post-fight interview that ‘the king is back’, yet his crown will surely be up for contention soon with the two fighters surely set to go at it for a third time in the not too distant future. However this time it is likely to be at 155lbs, far more neutral territory than the 170lbs the last two battles were done on.
Elsewhere on the card Anthony ‘Rumble’ Johnson proved he is one of the UFC’s most terrifying fighters as he starched Glover Teixeira with an uppercut only 13 seconds into their fight. The win sets Rumble up for a showdown with light heavyweight champ Daniel Cormier.
Donald Cerrone was also able to continue his epic run at welterweight picking up a TKO victory over top contender Rick Story. While Cerrone is inching closer to the top echelons of the welterweight rankings he seems to have his eyes set on the new lightweight champion Eddie Alvarez, stating when asked what’s next “I think Eddie Alvarez, you got something that belongs to me. Let’s go, Madison Square Garden. Me and Eddie. How about that?”
FC 202 Main Card
- Conor McGregor def. Nate Diaz, majority decision (48-47, 47-47, 48-47)
- Anthony Johnson def. Glover Teixeira, knockout (Round 1, 0:13)
- Donald Cerrone def. Rick Story, TKO (Round 2, 2:02)
- Mike Perry def. Hyun Gyu Lim, TKO (Round 1, 3:38)
- Tim Means def. Sabah Homasi, TKO (Round 2, 2:56)
Prelims on Fox Sports 1
- Cody Garbrandt def. Takeya Mizugaki, TKO (Round 1, 0:48)
- Raquel Pennington def. Elizabeth Phillips, unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
- Artem Lobov def. Chris Avila, unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
- Cortney Casey def. Randa Markos, (Round 1, 4:34)
Prelims on UFC Fight Pass
- Lorenz Larkin def. Neil Magny, TKO (Round 1, 4:08)
- Colby Covington def. Max Griffin, TKO (Round 3, 2:18)
- Marvin Vettori def. Alberto Uda, submission (Round 1, 4:30)