[title_box title=”UFC 196… Just call it “Upset Saturday””]
Saturday night at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, the UFC put on its 196th live pay-per-view event. It was hyped up to an unreal level, and boy, did it deliver.
In the co-main event, “The Preacher’s Daughter” Holly Holm went up against perennial contender Miesha “Cupcake” Tate for the Women’s Bantamweight Championship. After winning it in stunning fashion from Ronda Rousey back in November at UFC 193, Holm understandably came into the fight as the favorite.
The first round was largely a feeling out process for the two women, each landing some strikes. All three judges scored the first round 10-9 in favor of Holm, though.
The second round was a much different story. After some trading of strikes again, Tate was able to score a takedown against Holm, the first time Holm had been taken down in her UFC career. From dominant position, Tate was able to control the fight and land devastating elbows. She was nearly able to end the fight with a rear-naked choke, but Holm was able to escape right before the end of the second round. All three judges scored the round 10-8 in favor of Tate.
The third and fourth rounds again consisted of even fighting between the two competitors, with both women landing good strikes. All three judges scored both the third and fourth 10-9 in favor of Holm, meaning Tate was trailing on every scorecard going into the fifth and final round.
In the fifth round, Tate was again able to establish some solid offense, trading back-and-forth with Holm. That is until she was able to score a takedown yet again on Holm. Once down, Tate quickly took Holm’s back and locked in a rear-naked choke. Holm could not escape and passed out with 1:30 left in the fifth. The win establishes Tate as the new UFC Women’s Bantamweight Champion, and she is only the third woman to ever hold that title (the other two being Rousey and Holm).
That fight was not the only massive fight on the card last night. “The Notorious” Conor McGregor took on Nate Diaz in a main event showdown.
Coming off his stunning 13-second knockout victory over Jose Aldo back in December, McGregor had gained the ability to write his own checks with the UFC. He had been able to get the company to agree to let him move up to lightweight and challenge Rafael dos Anjos for the Lightweight Championship. However, dos Anjos was forced to withdraw from the fight due to a foot injury. In need of an opponent, Diaz stepped up with only 11 days’ notice to take on McGregor in a fight contested at welterweight.
To begin the showdown, both men came out swinging. Both known as incredible strikers, they lived up to their reputations in this bout. McGregor landed several huge fists to Diaz’s face, causing a cut to form over his left eye. Diaz got in some shots of his own, but all three judges scored the first round 10-9 in favor of McGregor.
The second round was again, like the co-main event, a much different story.
Diaz landed harder and more often than McGregor in the second round. One shot in particular visibly rattled McGregor. When Diaz recognized this, he attacked ferociously, hitting the Irishman with a barrage of punches. McGregor, desperate to end the huge punches from Diaz, attempted a takedown, but it was stopped easily. Then, Diaz was able to take McGregor’s back and lock in a rear-naked choke of his own which forced a submission from the UFC Featherweight Champion.
A massive event ended with a massive surprise.
Diaz and Tate’s upset victories shake up the scene in the UFC significantly, and it will be intriguing to see what happens from here.
The full UFC 196 main-card results are below.
[table td1=”Winner” td2=”Loser” td3=”Method”] [td1] Nate Diaz [/td1] [td2] Conor McGregor [/td2] [td3] Submission, Rd. 2 [/td3] [td1] Miesha Tate [/td1] [td2] Holly Holm [/td2] [td3] Submission, Rd. 5 [/td3] [td1] Ilir Latifi [/td1] [td2] Gian Villante [/td2] [td3] Unanimous Decision [/td3] [td1] Corey Anderson [/td1] [td2] Tom Lawlor [/td2] [td3] Unanimous Decision [/td3] [td1] Amanda Nunes [/td1] [td2] Valentina Shevchenko [/td2] [td3] Unanimous Decision [/td3] [/table]
Featured image by Mark Richardson
Edited by Cody McClure
Adam is the Assistant Sports Editor for the Tennessee Journalist and a Junior at UT. Most of his free time is spent watching sports, listening to good music, and enjoying life. If you wish to contact him, you can email him at email@example.com, follow him on Twitter, @AdamMilliken14, or find him at https://www.linkedin.com/pub/adam-milliken/109/a89/a32.