UFC 196 will have a lasting effect in the UFC world. Mystic Mac Conor McGregor: he called his shots. He would predict victory and even go as far as the round and the matter in which he would win. He was 7-0 with 6 KO/TKOs in his UFC career and predicted all 7 wins with alarming detail, and was never wrong. Until March 5th. McGregor was the seemingly invincible fighter, but he finally bit off more than he could chew.
While the Women’s Bantamweight championship was won by a fighter who has dedicated her whole life to the MMA sport, validating a career of a fighter that was contemplating retirement after she was blatantly disrespected by Dana White and UFC brass.
UFC 196 was pure insanity.
This was a typical Miesha Tate performance: ugly, gritty, and gutsy.
This matchup played straight into the striker (Holm) vs grappler (Tate) stylings that we all expected. Holly Holm’s game plan typically stays the same with every new opponent — stick and move. She controlled the distance and landed the smooth combos and kicks throughout the majority of the fight. In the 2nd round, Tate was able to take the champion down and was completely vicious with her ground game. In fact, all three judges scored the round 10-8, which is only given when there is an ass-whooping of a round. The 3rd and 4th were clearly given to Holm as it was looking like she would cruise to a victory.
In the 5th round, clearly sensing that she was about to lose the fight, Tate feverously took Holm down and looked for the rear-naked choke, and thus putting the champ to sleep.
With the shadow of the former champ (Ronda Rousey) still lingering over the division, Miesha Tate will be licking her chops in hopes to be the one send Rousey into retirement. Had Rousey beat Holly Holm in November, I would’ve picked Rousey to win any future matchup.
But with Miesha Tate now riding a 5-fight win streak, and Rousey filming movies and not improving her boxing, and Rousey’s questionable mindset, it is tough for me to favor Rousey in this matchup. The top of the division is very clear at this point: Miesha Tate, Holly Holm, Ronda Rousey (with caveats), and Amanda Nunes.
I’m not surprised motherF**kers!!
Conor McGreger talks a big game. He sells fights with his mouth, destroying opponents with witty insults, and sometimes beating opponents before the fight even starts. McGregor was well on his way to holding 2 title belts if he beat Rafael dos Anjos in the original matchup meaning to take place at this event.
Enter Nate Diaz.
Conor McGregor and Nate Diaz certainly had a tough act to follow. Not only would the main event deliver in terms of excitement, the result of the bout would seemingly ruin a lot of plans for the near future and also change the outlook on the sport as a whole.
This is essentially what this matchup was: a featherweight (McGregor-145lbs) taking on a lightweight (Diaz-155lbs) at welterweight (170lbs) on less than two week’s notice. Makes sense?
This was the prime opportunity for McGregor to rake over the UFC. With a win over Diaz, all signs pointed to
batsh*t crazy awesome matchup against Robbie Lawler at UFC 200 for the Welterweight Championship. McGregor completely dominated the 1st round, but his domination also led to his downfall. Conor lacked patience in his striking in the 2nd round, looking for the knockout shot every time he threw a punch. Nate consistently landed his jab-cross combo that he loves that rocked the Irishman, sending him into panic mode as he shot for a sloppy double-leg takedown. Nate was able to take everything Conor gave him, which came as a surprise to the Irishman, who is used to seeing his opponents break after feeling his power. Perhaps with a little more patience, McGregor would have his hand raised.
Anyone with any fight sense knew beforehand that Conor’s power would not be as effective against the bigger Diaz; that Conor would have the clear speed advantage, but the caveat would be a loss of power. As proven by the result of the fight, we shouldn’t even mention the large disparity in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. Given the circumstances of this fight, Nate Diaz made himself a star. He took home the largest payday of his career — well over $1 million. Nate also may have earned himself a crack at the Lightweight Championship when Rafael dos Anjos is healthy. And even with this loss, I do not anticipate McGregor’s stock falling. If anything, this just solidifies his place as the ultimate badass by salvaging the pay-per-view card and also wanting to prove that he is willing to step in the cage against anyone, regardless of the circumstances.
This quote from Dana White via Matt Parrino sums McGregor up perfectly: “I called that kid and told him that Dos Anjos broke his foot and Conor was like, ‘I’m going to the f**king gym, call me tomorrow when you know who I’m fighting. I don’t give a sh*t, I’ll fight any of them.’”
White said. “Nobody f**king does that. I don’t care who you are, how good you are, what f**king belt you’ve held in the UFC – nobody does that. And that sh*t is fun.”
Featured Image via the official UFC twitter