Conor McGregor outpoints Nate Diaz at UFC 202
Sat., Aug. 20, 2016
LAS VEGAS – Conor McGregor avenged his only UFC loss, outpointing Nate Diaz on Saturday night at UFC 202.
In a rematch of their two-round welterweight thriller in March, the two put on an action-packed fight with each taking control at times. Two of the judges scored it 48-47 for McGregor, and the other had it 47-47.
“Surprise, surprise! The king is back!” McGregor said. “If you want this trilogy, it’s on my terms. I came up to 170, now you’ll come back to 155 and we’ll finish what we’ve started. I knew what I had to do this time around and I did it.”
McGregor (20-3) forced the action in the opening round, landing multiple leg kicks to Diaz’s lead leg and a straight left that knocked down Diaz (20-11).
The Irishman knocked down Diaz twice more in the second round, bloodying his nose. Later in the second, Diaz unleashed a flurry of strikes, knocking down McGregor against the fence. Diaz continued to attack in the third and, for the final 90 seconds of the fourth, they stood in the center of the cage and exchanged punches.
They traded punches again in the fifth, and neither gained an edge until the final 10 seconds, when Diaz secured a trip and landed a few final shots from on top before the bell rang.
“I came here to fight. I want No. 3, I gave him No. 2, so let’s do it,” Diaz said.
McGregor was initially scheduled to face Rafael dos Anjos for the lightweight title, but dos Anjos pulled out due to injury and McGregor agreed to fight Diaz at welterweight on late notice.
Diaz’s endurance was the difference in the first fight, too. McGregor pummeled Diaz with multiple shots in the first round, giving Diaz a bloody facial gash, but Diaz weathered the storm and countered with a few shots of his own near the end of the round. Then Diaz dominated the second round with accurate, well-timed boxing before finishing the exhausted McGregor with a rear naked choke.
They were supposed to battle again at welterweight at the landmark UFC 200, but that bout was canceled after McGregor announced his retirement and refused to meet with media. McGregor didn’t end up retiring, but the disturbance got him and Diaz dropped from the card.
Instead, the anticipated rematch was set for UFC 202. The garrulous McGregor had promised to finish Diaz early this time around, and promotion for the fight included a bottle-throwing melee at a press conference Wednesday.
Earlier, Anthony Johnson landed an uppercut 13 seconds into the first round to knock out Glover Teixeira in the co-main event between top-ranked light heavyweights. Johnson (22-5) flattened Teixeira (25-5) with the shot, forcing the referee to call an early end to the fight. Johnson has 13th victories in his past 14 fights.
“I’m coming for you Daniel,” Johnson said, speaking to current light heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier, who was seated near the cage.
Donald Cerrone (31-7) stopped Rick Story (19-9) in a battle of ranked welterweights.
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