When Rafael dos Anjos failed to answer the call, Nate Diaz stepped in – as a welterweight – and shocked the world in the UFC 196 pay-per-view (PPV) main event, which took place last Saturday night (March 5, 2016) inside MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.
And the UFC confirmed both Diaz and McGregor would earn a $50,000 Fight of the Night bonus.
Diaz, who took the fight on less than two weeks’ notice, abruptly changed the bout with an electric series of punches before forcing McGregor to tap out on the ground.
A similar pattern continued at the start of the second as McGregor continued to have success with his overhand left and further opened the cut above Diaz’s eye.
The Irishman just had to land that devastating left of his, and that would be that.
Struggling to stay in the fight, McGregor took it to the mat, but it was a move that backfired in stunning fashion as he suffered more punishment from the heavy-hitting Diaz.
The loss was McGregor’s first since November 2010, and it put a blemish on the loquacious Irish face of the UFC and the best-paid fighter in this rapidly growing sport.
“These things happen. I’ll learn and I’ll grow”, he said. I have so much respect for this woman.
McGregor (19-3) won the first round.
He said: “I took the chance going at 170″.
Diaz and Tate had plans of their own.
After a cagey first round in which few significant blows were landed, the 34-year-old Holm was in trouble in the second round but managed to survive by keeping Tate at bay with her longer reach.
“Now another man gets a victory over me and he celebrates it, that’s the sign of a loser, that’s the sign of a runner-up… that’s not the sign of a champion”.
Like the co-main event bout between Tate and Holm, this is also a must-watch. Tate snuck her right arm under the chin and, in a final desperate attempt to break free, Holm front flipped to the ground. McGregor said he would probably go down to defend his 145-pound title against either Jose Aldo or Frankie Edgar. “I want to thank her for stepping in here tonight and giving everything she had”. “I still feel UFC 200, it’s there for me”, he shared.
“I text Ronda. Ronda wasn’t watching the fight”. She’s very unsafe. She’s capable of catching anyone at any moment.
“I thought I had to be like a pit bull on a bone”, Tate said. I had many chances to not do this and sit and wait, but I went in.