In case you missed out on UFC 196, Holly Holm didn't tap out to Miesha Tate's 5th round rear-naked choke, while Conor McGregor swiftly tapped out to Nate Diaz's 2nd round RNC in the night's main event. The contrasting endings to those respective fights has led to discussion over whether or not fighters should actually go to sleep when defending a choke, as opposed to tapping.
In an interview with MMA Junkie, Nate Diaz defended McGregor's choice in their March 5th fight, noting the contextual differences between Conor's situation and Holly's.
"If you've got to tap out, you've got to tap out," Diaz said. "I think Holly, she thought she was maybe going to get out. She had already gotten out of one (choke earlier in the fight) and she thought, ‘I'm not quitting.' McGregor, he was (expletive) done. All the way done. It's all right. He had to tap out because there was no getting out of that. I don't think there's anything wrong with tapping out."
"It's a fight against the best fighters in the world; you've got to tap to that (expletive)," Diaz said. "You ain't getting out of it. You can tap out, or you can go to sleep. It's (expletive) the same (expletive). You tap out if you're caught. The thing is, that's what I think, is don't get caught."
Earlier this week, Paige VanZant told Ariel Helwani that she wish she had gone unconscious like Holm, as opposed to her eventual decision to tap out vs. Rose Namajunas in last December's TUF 22 Finale.
As for Diaz, just a little fun fact -- of the 11 fighters (technically 12, but Manny Gamburyan injured his shoulder) Nate has submitted in his entire MMA career, only Marcus Davis didn't tap out. "The Irish Hand Grenade" went to sleep with a guillotine choke in a welterweight bout back at UFC 118.