Freelance: McGregor Gets Majority Decision, Third Diaz Fight Nearly Certain
The Nostradamus of MMA was right. While UFC President Dana White said on FS1, “We’re definitely not doing this a third time right now", Conor McGregor said going to his rematch with Nate Diaz, "We will do this three times. One hundred percent." McGregor topped Diaz by way of a majority decision last night (August 20, 2016) at UFC 202 in Las Vegas.
The bout started in the same fashion as the first--no touch of the gloves. McGregor opens the round with leg kicks, most of which go unchecked by the representative of Stockton, CA. The kicks are working well to keep McGregor off the ground. He throws another that wraps around the calf of Diaz before he's dropped with a left straight punch about a minute and a half in.
Diaz pulls guard but the Irishman says no. McGregor's looking more conservative and well-paced than the first fight that he felt he lost due to energy inefficiency. Another leg kick, jab, and a body shot goes the way of the blue corner.
They exchange at the buzzer as referee "Big John" McCarthy steps in to avoid any extracurricular activities.
Diaz hits the canvas again early in the second. It's not power that dropped him, but his worsening ability to stand. Diaz goes back to guard and gets the same result. Deja Vue occurs about 20 seconds later with the third knockdown of the fight by way of a left hand.
Diaz offers ineffective upkicks before they box again. He's the worse for wear now with a bloodied nose as scar tissue begins to open up. McGregor is sticking and moving, forcing Diaz to hit the wind. When he moves in for a combination, Diaz is talking to him, egging him on.
McGregor is up two rounds, but the engines kick in for Diaz with a minute and a half to go in the second and he very clearly takes the midframe of this main event as the "Notorious" one appears to be gassing.
The third was scored a 10-8 against McGregor by judge Glenn Trowbridge along with a pair of 10-9s as Diaz rocks him with a one-two combo into a grinding clinch battle. Both are tagged as they exit.
When they strike once more, Diaz takes the brunt of the output but continues to taunt. They clinch momentarily. Diaz lands just above the left ear and McGregor jogs away to reset. McGregor counters with a left. They tangle at the fence as rights to the jaw for Diaz are getting through. He lowers his booming shots to the midsection and finds his mark there as well.
McGregor counters with a left. They tangle at the fence as rights to the jaw for Diaz are getting through. He lowers his booming shots to the midsection and finds his mark there as well. This is the danger zone as Diaz looks for the finish. McGregor is saved by the horn.
This time, McGregor scores with the one-two but leaves himself open for an overhand left in return. Commentator Joe Rogan notes cuts on the cheek and above the right eye of Diaz. Vision is becoming troublesome and weakening legs on his end come back into play.
Despite the one-sided third round, the conditioning is in favor of McGregor as commentator Mike Goldberg points out that Diaz has only been in a fourth round for the second time and had only gone a full five once. Still, he leads in the striking numbers at this point.
McGregor lands as the clinch ends, but Diaz has him wobbly with a combo of his own when they engage again. The Featherweight champion connects with a trinity of strikes after another clinch, this time for rest it appears. Striking looks even at the sound of the horn as McGregor takes a left hook and failed head kick to end the round.
The round that is now most suspect in the eyes of many online is quickly underway.
McGregor aims to land a flying knee but Diaz is still standing. He takes Diaz's back off of a clinch, but only to lead to further striking. He's forced against the fence but stuffs a takedown attempt. His improved Jiu-Jitsu hasn't been on display once thanks to basic wrestling.
Diaz smashes an elbow to the jaw home on McGregor. He avoids another double leg heading into the final 90 seconds. When Diaz misses a follow-up elbow, McGregor turns the clinch in his favor. He's successful with a leg-trip, but Diaz is up instantaneously.
Diaz lands a takedown finally and the final punches, but in the eyes of the judges, it was already too late.
Conor McGregor def. Nate Diaz via Majority Decision (48-47, 47-47, 48-47)
McGregor's first words after topping Diaz? "Surprise, surprise, motherf*****. The king is back!"
As for Diaz's thoughts on another go around? Well, he's already provided his answer.
Fox Sports reported that just hours after the fight Diaz said, "I'm not doing (expletive) until we go for round three. You won't be seeing me until then." "If they want to set it up as soon as possible, let's do it," Diaz said following the end of UFC 202 on Saturday night. "I don't think it's a very good business move for him to be taking any other fights. He's a businessman. So we'll see what happens."
White had already said before 202 that McGregor MUST either defend his 145-pund championship against the now interim champion Jose Aldo (who lost the belt to McGregor last December before McGregor's loss at 170 to Diaz the first time around) or vacate the title.
McGregor wants the third Diaz fight at Lightweight (155 pounds.)