If a single fight ever warranted its very own space in Bloody Elbow's internet abode, this is probably it: smack-talking scrapper Nate Diaz in a do-over with the brash and boisterous Conor "The Notorious One" McGregor. The epic rematch headlines tonight's UFC 202: Diaz vs. McGregor 2 pay-per-view (PPV) lineup from the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, NV.
After McGregor orchestrated a commanding, one-sided first round in their initial collision at UFC 196, dotting Diaz up with crisp combinations and low kicks, the Stockton, California rep turned the tide dramatically in the second stanza, dinging McGregor with one-twos before sealing the monumental victory via rear-naked choke. Tonight, they clash again, and expectations for another unforgettable brawl are understandably high.
Live results and play-by-play will commence with the PPV's main event. The following is a list of suggested reading material.
UFC 202 Vivisection: predictions, analysis and betting odds
Bloody Elbow's Staff Predictions for the UFC 202 Main Card
Bloody Elbow's Staff Predictions for the UFC 202 Preliminary Card
Toe-to-Toe Breakdown of Diaz vs. McGregor 2
UFC 202 Main Event
R1: McGregor closes distance quickly and lands two outside low kicks. Diaz flicks a side kick back at him but McGregor sidesteps it and scores with an inside low kick. Another outside low kick and Diaz is yet to check one. Right on cue, he checks the next low kick and lands one of his own. Beautiful right to the body and left upstairs for McGregor, and it stuns Diaz. McGregor sits him down with a left cross. Diaz falls back to play guard but McGregor lets him back up.
Diaz lands an inside low kick but he's already struggling to plant on his lead leg. McGregor digs his shin in with another low kick. And another. McGregor steps back and plunges a counter left through Diaz's guard. Another low kick. McGregor ducks a jab and touches Diaz with a right to the ribs. Two more low kicks land for McGregor. And another. And another, causing Diaz's leg to buckle. Clean left hand for McGregor a few seconds before the horn sounds. 10-8 McGregor.
R2: McGregor goes back to the low kicks, then he unwinds a left hook and Diaz is knocked flat again just 30 seconds in. McGregor backs off and lets him stand back up. More unchecked low kicks pour in for McGregor; he's virtually landing them at will. McGregor with the same right downstairs/left upstairs combo he landed in the first round.
McGregor has his timing, as he's landing about everything he throws and Diaz is struggling to connect. More low kicks and crisp combos from McGregor. In a case of shocking deja vu, with a minute left, Diaz steps into a one-two that rattles McGregor's chin, and he starts to turn the tide with his classic, Stockton style pitter-patter. 10-9 McGregor.
R3: Diaz marches out fearlessly, looking to swarm in the pocket. McGregor, who's breathing quite heavily, lands an outside low kick. Diaz walks through it and lands a sharp combination, then forces a clinch. McGregor circles him onto the fence but Diaz reverses the position. McGregor breaks the clinch with a horizontal elbow, then lands a left hand. Another outside low kick and another left hand from McGregor.
Diaz starts to point at McGregor as he's retreating, then he lands a step-in right and points again as McGregor bails out. Diaz buries a hail of leather into the body and head of McGregor with both hands as McGregor leans his back on the fence. McGregor right cheek is swollen as Diaz continues to swarm him with close-range volume. 10-8 Diaz.
R4: McGregor scores with an outside low kick. A scorching left cross sails through the guard of Diaz and he's bleeding from both eyes. Another outside low kick for McGregor. Diaz forces a clinch and looks for a body lock, then peels McGregor's arm away with wrist control and plunges a knee to the body.
McGregor thwacks him with an elbow to the face, still with his back on the cage. McGregor circles off the cage and separates but Diaz wobbles him with a quick medley of punches. McGregor answers with a combo. McGregor continues to fire rights to the body before coming high with a left. 10-9 McGregor.
R5: McGregor opens with an outside low kick. The crowd whistles when McGregor jogs out of range to avoid being cornered. Diaz moves forward to lock horns, putting McGregor on the fence. McGregor circles off an separates with an outside low kick. Diaz forces another clinch and McGregor lands a pair of short uppercuts while retreating. Diaz changes levels for a takedown but McGregor denies it while spiking a few elbows to the temple.
McGregor is quicker and tighter on the release, effectively allowing him to land first in most of the exchanges. Diaz traps him in the corner and clinches up, landing a short knee to the body. McGregor staves off another takedown attempt. Diaz keeps McGregor on the fence but whiffs with an elbow. McGregor circles off and hits an outside trip but Diaz bounces off the canvas and drives McGregor onto the fence. More short punches from Diaz, then an outside trip in the final seconds. 10-9 Diaz. I have it 47-46 McGregor.
- Conor McGregor defeats Nate Diaz by majority decision (48-47 x2, 47-47)