Conor McGregor bested Nate Diaz in their rematch in the main event at UFC 202: McGregor vs. Diaz 2 from T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nev. on Saturday. It was a brilliantly exciting fight, with each fighter holding the edge in different rounds. McGregor looked dominant at first, then he looked to be completely faded, but things started to swing in the other direction after that.
The fight ended in favor of McGregor via majority decision, as one judge had it scored as a 47-47 tie.
The two exchanged heavily in the first, with McGregor casually shaking his head as though Diaz's strikes weren't affecting him, something he did in the first fight ... before they started affecting him. One shot from McGregor knocked Diaz down, but it's possible Diaz went down on purpose because he tried to goad McGregor into entering his guard.
McGregor was having none of that, and chose to fight on his feet. The first round came to an end with McGregor landing some strikes while dodging Diaz. He looked a whole lot more prepared for Diaz and landed more than was landed on him.
McGregor dropped Diaz again in the first 30 seconds of the second round, and Diaz again goaded McGregor, trying to get him to enter his guard, but McGregor again was smart enough to avoid his jiu-jitsu. McGregor continued to pepper Diaz, who seemed to abandon throwing kicks altogether for some unknown reason.
With two minuets to go Diaz started to land and McGregor looked like he was slowing down. Diaz's face was bloody, but he landed several times and McGregor was in deep trouble. The round came to an end with McGregor looking desperately like he needed to get out of the way.
The third round saw a ton of taunting from Diaz, more than usual. He stood in front of McGregor with his hands down plenty. That allowed McGregor to land some good shots, but in the end Diaz controlled the pace and landed plenty on McGregor in the third. Diaz unloaded on him at the end of the third, but couldn't finish McGregor.
The fourth did see McGregor land some shots early, as Diaz's face was bloody and he appeared to struggle to see. The two exchanged combos that landed in the final two minutes, both being wobbled. Diaz was very bloody at this point, and McGregor may have won the round.
In the fifth and final round, it once again went the distance. It was fairly even, though Diaz got on top of McGregor at the end and battered him.
Diaz was originally a late replacement for Rafael dos Anjos, the then-lightweight champion as McGregor, the featherweight champion, was trying to hold two belts at once. Diaz stepped in and they fought at welterweight, and it was clear he had a size advantage over McGregor, and obviously a chin advantage. Without the right preparation, McGregor found himself battered by Diaz before he was submitted.
Neither fighter fought since then as a rematch was announced shortly after, despite McGregor still being the featherweight champion of the UFC.
The fight just before the headliner saw Anthony "Rumble" Johnson annihilate Glover Teixeira in the span of just 13 seconds. Teixeira took a massive right uppercut and was out before he hit the ground, but Johnson swarmed on him and delivered two massive shots before the referee was able to stop it.
After the fight, Rumble called out champion Daniel Cormier, who beat Rumble to earn the belt at UFC 187. It seems that a rematch is likely.
But other than the big showdown between McGregor and Diaz and other than the fireworks sure to come with any Rumble Johnson fight, the third match from the end, between fan favorite Donald Cerrone and Rick Story, was hotly anticipated.
And it was just as good as promised.
It was Cerrone who took the fight to the ground first and threatened a triangle and an armbar, but Story defended well. He ended up on Cerrone's back with still 2:30 to go in the round. Cerrone got up to his feet and the remainder of the round finished on the feet. The second also finished on the feet, but well before the end as Cerrone started to pressure Story with punching combos, and Story had no answer.
Eventually, Cerrone backed him into the cage and wailed on him, alternating face and body strikes until the referee called a stop to it at 2:20 of the second round.
Tim Means took until the second round, but it was clear that Sabah Homasi had nothing for him in the first fight of the main card. Means staggered Homasi, who looked gassed midway through the first round, and in the second round Means closed and eventually put him down for a TKO finish.
Mike Perry didn't let Hyun Gyu Lim out of the first round in the second fight of the main cart. Perry landed early and often, and referee Big John McCarthy let Lim stand up and get knocked down at least two more times before he called a TKO via strikes at 3:38 of the first round.
Cody Garbrandt, perhaps fighting for a title shot in the bantamweight division, made quick work of Takeya Mizugaki, dispatching him with a pair of beautiful right hand shots and a flurry of punches as the two went to the ground. It was a first-round TKO win for Garbrandt to cap off the undercard.
In the very first fight of the evening, Alberto Udo looked well on his way to a ground-and-pound win when Marvin Vettori caught him in a guillotine choke during a position switch and forced him to tap. That gave Vettori the victory in the first round, setting the tone for the remainder of the card. The Fight Pass portion of the preliminary card also saw Colby Covington best Max Griffin by TKO and Lorenz Larkin best Neil Magny also by TKO.
Randa Markos had an outstanding performance early against Cortney Casey at the start of the Fox Sports 1 card, trapping Casey in a headlock and delivering dozens of punches. But Casey held on and moved from her back to secure an armbar and a submission win. It was a huge, huge swing of momentum and Markos will go back to the drawing board.
Welterweight: Conor McGregor def. Nate Diaz via majority decision (48-47, 47-47, 48-47)
Light Heavyweight: Anthony Johnson def. Glover Teixeira via KO (punch) at 0:13 of Round 1
Welterweight: Donald Cerrone def. Rick Story via TKO (head kick and punches) at 2:02 of Round 2
Welterweight: Mike Perry def. Hyun Gyu Lim va TKO (punches) at 3:38 of Round 1
Welterweight: Tim Means def. Sabah Homasi via TKO (punches) at 2:56 of Round 2
Fox Sports 1 Prelims
Bantamweight: Cody Garbrandt def. Takeya Mizugaki via TKO (punches) at 0:48 of Round 1
Women's Bantamweight: Raquel Pennington def. Elizabeth Phillips via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
Featherweight: Artem Lobov def. Chris Avila via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
Women's Strawweight: Cortney Casey def. Randa Markos via submission (armbar) at 4:34 of Round 1
Fight Pass Prelims
Welterweight: Lorenz Larkin def. Neil Magny via TKO (elbows) at 4:08 of Round 1
Welterweight: Colby Covington def. Max Griffin via TKO (punches) at 2:18 of Round 3
Middleweight: Marvin Vettori def. Alberto Uda via submission (guillotine) at 4:30 of Round 1